Ashamed to Be Selfish

31 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2010

See all articles by Philipp Sadowski

Philipp Sadowski

Duke University - Department of Economics

David Dillenberger

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 20, 2010


We study a decision maker (DM) who has preferences over sets of payoff-allocations between herself and a passive recipient, which represent second-stage choice problems. The recipient is only aware of second-stage choice of an allocation. Not choosing the normatively best allocation in the second stage inflicts shame on DM. We derive a representation that identifies DM's private ranking of allocations, her subjective norm, and shame. The normatively best allocation can be further characterized as the Nash solution of a bargaining game induced by the second-stage choice problem.

JEL Classification: C78, D63, D64, D80, D81

Suggested Citation

Sadowski, Philipp and Dillenberger, David, Ashamed to Be Selfish (September 20, 2010). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke Working Paper No. 84. Available at SSRN: or

Philipp Sadowski (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States
919-660-1800 (Phone)

David Dillenberger

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-1503 (Phone)

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