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"Thou Shalt Not Covet...": Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values

Matteo Cervellati () and Paolo Vanin ()

No 7334, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper proposes a theory of the relationship between prohibitions and temptation. In presence of self-control problems, moral values may increase individual material welfare (and utility) by serving as a self-commitment device. The model investigates the relationship between morality and temptation, the individual gains from morality, the interaction between external sanctions and moral self-punishment and the spread and strength of individually optimal moral values. The empirical analysis, based on survey data for a large set of countries, documents a hump-shaped pattern of morality in social class, which supports the theoretical predictions of the model.

Keywords: crime; moral values; prohibitions; temptation; self-control (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 K42 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2013-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2013, 103, 15-28

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Related works:
Journal Article: “Thou shalt not covet”: Prohibitions, temptation and moral values (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: ”Thou shalt not covet...”: Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: ”Thou shalt not covet...”: Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values (2010) Downloads
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