Social Preferences or Sacred Values? Theory and Evidence of Deontological Motivations

Working paper

56 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017 Last revised: 24 Feb 2020

See all articles by Daniel L. Chen

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France

Martin Schonger

ETH Zürich

Date Written: January 27, 2020

Abstract

Recent advances in economic theory, largely motivated by experimental findings, have led to the adoption of models of human behavior where decision-makers not only take into consideration their own payoff but also others’ payoffs and any potential consequences of these payoffs. Investigations of deontological motivations, where decision-makers make their choice not only based on the consequences of a decision but also the decision per se have been rare. We provide a formal interpretation of major moral philosophies and a revealed preference method to distinguish the presence of deontological motivations from a purely consequentialist decision-maker whose preferences satisfy first-order stochastic dominance.

Keywords: consequentialism, deontological motivations, normative commitments, social preferences, revealed preference, decision theory, first order stochastic dominance, random lottery incentive method

JEL Classification: D6, K2

Suggested Citation

Chen, Daniel L. and Schonger, Martin, Social Preferences or Sacred Values? Theory and Evidence of Deontological Motivations (January 27, 2020). Working paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2977060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2977060

Daniel L. Chen (Contact Author)

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France ( email )

Toulouse School of Economics
1, Esplanade de l'Université
Toulouse, 31080
France

Martin Schonger

ETH Zürich ( email )

Rämistrasse 101
ZUE F7
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

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