Reluctant Recyclers: Social Interaction in Responsibility Ascription
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Brekke, Kjell Arne, Karine Nyborg and Gorm Kipperberg
Nummer i serie: 16
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.
Voluntary contributions, duty-orientation, recycling, joint FIML estimation.
D11, D12, D64, Q53