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Title:Incentives and prosocial behavior PDF Logo
Authors:Bénabou, Roland
Tirole, Jean
Issue Date:2005
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 1695
Abstract:We develop a theory of prosocial behavior that combines heterogeneity in individual altruism and greed with concerns for social reputation or self-respect. Rewards or punishments (whether material or image-related) create doubt about the true motive for which good deeds are performed and this overjustification effect can induce a partial or even net crowding out of prosocial behavior by extrinsic incentives. We also identify settings that are conducive to multiple social norms and those where disclosing one's generosity may backfire. Finally, we analyze the choice by public and private sponsors of incentive levels, their degree of confidentiality and the publicity given to agents' behavior. Sponsor competition is shown to potentially reduce social welfare.
Subjects:altruism
rewards
motivation
esteem
crowding out
overjustification effect
identity
social norms
morals
greed
psychology
JEL:D64
D82
H41
Z13
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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