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Moral Judgments in Social Dilemmas: How Bad is Free Riding?

Robin Cubitt, Michalis Drouvelis, Simon Gaechter and Ruslan Kabalin
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Simon Gaechter: University of Nottingham

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Simon Gächter

No 2009-15, Discussion Papers from The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham

Abstract: In the last thirty years economists and other social scientists investigated people’s normative views on principles of distributive justice. Here we study people’s normative views in social dilemmas, which underlie many situations of economic and social significance. Using insights from moral philosophy and psychology we provide an analysis of the morality of free riding. We use experimental survey methods to investigate people’s moral judgments empirically. We vary others’ contributions, the framing (“give-some” vs. “take-some”) and whether contributions are simultaneous or sequential. We find that moral judgments depend strongly on others’ behaviour; and that failing to give is condemned more strongly than withdrawing all support.

Keywords: moral judgments; framing effects; public goods experiments; free riding (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-08
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Related works:
Journal Article: Moral judgments in social dilemmas: How bad is free riding? (2011) Downloads
Journal Article: Moral judgments in social dilemmas: How bad is free riding? (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Moral Judgments in Social Dilemmas: How Bad is Free Riding? (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Moral Judgments in Social Dilemmas: How Bad is Free Riding? (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Moral Judgments in Social Dilemmas: How Bad is Free Riding? Downloads
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