EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Anger and Regulation

Rafael Di Tella and Juan Dubra ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We propose a model where voters experience an emotional cost when they observe a firm that has displayed insufficient concern for other people's welfare (altruism) in the process of making high profits. Even when there exist few truly altruistic firms, an equilibrium may emerge where all firms pretend to be kind, refraining from charging "abusive" prices to their customers (or "exploiting" workers). Our main result is that as competition decreases, the set of parameters for which such pooling equilibria exist is smaller and firms are more liekly to anger voters by displaying low levels of altruism. As a consequence, when firms have been shown to be unkind, the welfare of consumers will go up when these firms are punished (for example through fines), even when this does not imply a change in prices. Indeed, regulation affects welfare through three channels: First, there is the standard channel whereby a reduction in monopoly price lads to the production of units that cost less than their value to consumers. Second, regulation calms down existing consumers: a reduction in the profits of a firm viewed as excessively selfish increases total welfare by reducing consumer anger. Finally, there is a third (mixed) channel arising because individuals who were out of the market when they were excessively angry in the unregulated market, decide to purchase once the firm is regulated, reducing the standard distortions described in the first channel.

Keywords: Anger; regulation; public relations; commercial legitimacy; altruism; populism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D64 L4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-10-02, Revised 2009-03-29
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-reg
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/14442/1/MPRA_paper_14442.pdf original version (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Anger and Regulation (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Anger and Regulation (2009) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:14442

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Joachim Winter ().

 
Page updated 2020-05-04
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14442