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The (In)Elasticity of Moral Ignorance

Marta Serra-Garcia and Nora Szech

No 7555, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich

Abstract: Ignorance enables individuals to act immorally. This is well known in policy circles, where there is keen interest in lowering moral ignorance. In this paper, we demonstrate the relevance of demand elasticity to ignorance by showing that small monetary incentives can significantly reduce ignorance. We contrast monetary incentives with social norms, which have little impact on ignorance and actually increase ignorance in less moral individuals. Using a longitudinal design, we document that ignorance is persistent across moral contexts and through time. We propose and structurally estimate a simple behavioral model in line with our findings.

Keywords: information avoidance; morality; unethical behavior; social norms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 D91 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-soc
Date: 2019
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Related works:
Working Paper: The (In)Elasticity of Moral Ignorance (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: The (in)elasticity of moral ignorance (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: The (in)elasticity of moral ignorance (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: The (in)elasticity of moral ignorance (2018) Downloads
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