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Reluctant Recyclers: Social Interaction in Responsibility Ascription

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Forfattere:

Brekke, Kjell Arne, Karine Nyborg and Gorm Kipperberg

År:

2007

Referanse:

Memorandum
Nummer i serie: 16

Summary

Several studies have demonstrated that individual contributions to public goods are increasing in others’ contributions. The underlying causes for this, however, are not yet fully understood. We present a model of duty-orientation in which moral responsibility is learned through observations of others’ behavior. Since, in our model, responsibility is a burden, we hypothesize that individuals will be reluctant to accept responsibility based on uncertain information. Econometric analysis of data from a survey on households’ glass recycling indicates that perceived responsibility is a major determinant for reported recycling; that responsibility ascription is influenced by beliefs about others’ behavior; and that people are indeed reluctant to accept responsibility based on uncertain information.

Nøkkelord:

Voluntary contributions, duty-orientation, recycling, joint FIML estimation.

JEL:

D11, D12, D64, Q53

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Kontakt:

karine.nyborg@frisch.uio.no