I Don't Want to Hear About It: Rational Ignorance Among Duty-Oriented Consumers
University of Oslo - Department of Economics; University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research
August 13, 2008
University of Oslo, Department of Economics Memorandum No. 15/2008
Individuals with a preference for keeping moral obligations may dislike learning that voluntary contributions are socially valuable: Such information can trigger unpleasant feelings of cognitive dissonance. I show that if initial beliefs about the social value of contributions are sufficiently low, duty-oriented consumers are willing to pay to avoid information. Attitude campaigns can increase contributions from such consumers by providing them with unwanted information. Consequentialist warm glow types with low initial beliefs, however, will seek low-cost information on their own initiative; thus, campaigns will have less effects for such consumers.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: Voluntary contributions, responsibility, information campaigns
JEL Classification: D11, D62, D64, D89, H41, Q21working papers series
Date posted: August 14, 2008
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