Noblesse Oblige? Moral Identity and Prosocial Behavior in the Face of Selfishness

Dessi, Roberta and Monin, Benoît (2012) Noblesse Oblige? Moral Identity and Prosocial Behavior in the Face of Selfishness. TSE Working Paper, n. 12-347

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Official URL: http://tse-fr.eu/pub/26503

Abstract

What makes individuals conform or diverge after observing prosocial
or selfish behavior by others? We study experimentally how social comparison
(observing a peer’s behavior) interacts with identity motives for
cooperation. Participants play two games. We increase the strength of the
identity motive by inducing subjects in a treatment condition to infer their
identity from behavior in the first game. Cooperators who observe a peer
defect donate 28% more to their unknown partner in the second game in
the treatment than in the control group. Our results are consistent with
the predictions of Bénabou and Tirole (2011), and show that the "suckerto-
saint effect" identified by Jordan and Monin (2008) can have important
behavioral consequences.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: November 2012
JEL codes: A1 - General Economics
A12 - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics
D3 - Distribution
D64 - Altruism
Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology
Subjects: B- ECONOMIE ET FINANCE
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 17:30
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 13:22
OAI ID: oai:tse-fr.eu:26503
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/15428

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