Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Rolf Degen summarizing... People are surprisingly reluctant to pressure others to behave prosocially, even if they themselves would act prosocially

Do People Intervene to Make Others Behave Prosocially? Viola Ackfeld, Axel Ockenfels. Games and Economic Behavior, April 6 2021.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: We experimentally investigate people's willingness to intervene in others' decision-making in order to promote a charitable donation. We find that only a minority of those subjects who would donate themselves enforce the donation by banning the selfish choice from the decision-maker's choice menu. Bans are more acceptable if they are implemented only after the decision-makers could choose between the selfish and the prosocial option themselves. Also, many subjects decide against offering decision-makers a monetary incentive to switch from the selfish to the prosocial choice. We discuss potential hypotheses about underlying motivations for the (non-) usage of interventions, with a special focus on the hypothesis that interventions to promote prosocial choice are more acceptable the more they respect the autonomy of others.

Keywords: Charity experimentProsocial behaviorAutonomyBansIncentives

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