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Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning

Roland Benabou (), Armin Falk and Jean Tirole

No 11665, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract: By downplaying externalities, magnifying the cost of moral behavior, or suggesting not being pivotal, exculpatory narratives can allow individuals to maintain a positive image when in fact acting in a morally questionable way. Conversely, responsibilizing narratives can help sustain better social norms. We investigate when narratives emerge from a principal or the actor himself, how they are interpreted and transmitted by others, and when they spread virally. We then turn to how narratives compete with imperatives (general moral rules or precepts) as alternative modes of communication to persuade agents to behave in desirable ways.

Keywords: moral behavior; prosocial behavior; narratives; imperatives; justifications; rules; Kantian reasoning; deontology; consequentialism; utilitarianism; norms; organizations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D62 D64 D78 D83 D85 D91 H41 K42 L14 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-ltv and nep-mic
Date: 2018-07
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Related works:
Working Paper: Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Narratives, Imperatives and Moral Reasoning (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning (2018) Downloads
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