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The (in)elasticity of moral ignorance

Marta Serra-Garcia and Nora Szech

No SP II 2019-302, Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change from WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Abstract: We investigate the elasticity of moral ignorance with respect to monetary incentives and social norm information. We propose that individuals suffer from higher moral costs when rejecting a certain donation, and thus pay for moral ignorance. Consistent with our model, we find significant willingness to pay for ignorance, which we calibrate against morally neutral benchmark treatments. We show that the demand curve for moral ignorance exhibits a sharp kink, of about 50 percent, when moving from small negative to small positive monetary incentives. By contrast, while social norms strongly favor information acquisition, they have little impact on curbing moral ignorance.

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)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-hpe and nep-soc
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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/195921/1/1663305390.pdf (application/pdf)

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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