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Guilt in voting and public good games

Dominik Rothenhäusler, Nikolaus Schweizer and Nora Szech

European Economic Review, 2018, vol. 101, issue C, 664-681

Abstract: This paper analyzes how moral costs affect individual support of morally difficult group decisions. We study a threshold public good game with moral costs. Motivated by recent empirical findings, we assume that these costs are heterogeneous and consist of three parts. The first one is a standard cost term. The second, shared guilt, decreases in the number of supporters. The third hinges on the notion of being pivotal. We analyze equilibrium predictions, isolate the causal effects of guilt sharing, and compare results to standard utilitarian and non-consequentialist approaches. As interventions, we study information release, feedback, and fostering individual moral standards.

Keywords: Moral decision making; Division of labor; Shared guilt; Diffusion of responsibility; Institutions and morals; Committee decisions; Moral transgression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 D03 D23 D63 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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