An Economic Model of Moral Motivation

Statistics Norway, Discussion Paper No. 290

25 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2001

See all articles by Karine Nyborg

Karine Nyborg

University of Oslo - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Kjell Arne Brekke

University of Oslo - Department of Economics; University of Oslo - Frisch Center

Snorre Kverndokk

Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Date Written: December 2000

Abstract

In this paper, we present an economic model of moral motivation. Consumers prefer regarding themselves as socially responsible individuals. Voluntary contributions to public goods are motivated by this preference. The self-image as socially responsible is determined by a comparison of one's actual behavior against an endogenous moral ideal. Public policy influences voluntary contributions through its effects on relative prices and budget or time constraints, but also indirectly through the policy's effect on the moral ideal. This implies that economic incentives may have adverse effects on contributions. We present survey data on recycling behavior and voluntary community work, which is consistent with the model predictions.

Keywords: Voluntary Contributions, Economic Incentives, Warm Glow, Identity Theory

JEL Classification: D11, H41

Suggested Citation

Nyborg, Karine and Brekke, Kjell Arne and Kverndokk, Snorre, An Economic Model of Moral Motivation (December 2000). Statistics Norway, Discussion Paper No. 290. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=260583 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.260583

Karine Nyborg (Contact Author)

University of Oslo - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O.Box 1095 Blindern
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://folk.uio.no/karineny/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Kjell Arne Brekke

University of Oslo - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1095 Blindern
N-0317 Oslo
Norway
+47 22 84 11 69 (Phone)

University of Oslo - Frisch Center ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0349 Oslo
Norway
+47 22 95 88 19 (Phone)
+47 22 95 88 25 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.frisch.uio.no

Snorre Kverndokk

Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0349 Oslo
Norway
+47 22958811 (Phone)
+47 22958825 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.frisch.uio.no/cv/snorrek_eng.html

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
475
Abstract Views
2,202
rank
60,239
PlumX Metrics