Self-Esteem, Shame and Personal Motivation

Dessi, Roberta and Zhao, Xiaojian (2011) Self-Esteem, Shame and Personal Motivation. TSE Working Paper, n. 10-191, Toulouse

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Official URL: http://tse-fr.eu/pub/23211

Abstract

The available evidence from numerous studies in psychology suggests that overconfidence is a more important phenomenon in North America than in Japan. Relatedly, North Americans appear to view high self-esteem more positively than Japanese. The pattern is reversed when it comes to shame, a social emotion which appears to play a more important role among Japanese than North Americans. We develop an economic model that endogenizes these observed differences. A crucial tradeoff arises in the model between the benefits of encouraging self-improvement and the benefits of promoting initiative and new investments. In this context, self-esteem maintenance (self-enhancement) and high sensitivity to shame emerge as substitute mechanisms to induce efficient effort and investment decisions, generating a \North American" equilibrium with overconfidence and low sensitivity to shame, and a \Japanese" equilibrium with high sensitivity to shame and no overconfidence. The analysis identifies the key equilibrium costs as well as the benefits of reliance on each mechanism, and the implications for welfare.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: November 2011
Place of Publication: Toulouse
Uncontrolled Keywords: Overconfidence, shame, cultural transmission
JEL codes: D82 - Asymmetric and Private Information
D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
Z13 - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology
Subjects: B- ECONOMIE ET FINANCE
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Université Toulouse 1 Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 06:02
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2019 23:01
OAI ID: oai:tse-fr.eu:23211
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/3422

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