This paper proposes a theory of the relationship between prohibitions and temptation. In presence of self-control problems, moral values may increase individual material welfare (and utility) by serving as a self-commitment device. The model investigates the relationship between morality and temptation, the individual gains from morality, the interaction between external sanctions and moral self-punishment and the spread and strength of individually optimal moral values. The empirical analysis, based on survey data for a large set of countries, documents a hump-shaped pattern of morality in social class, which supports the theoretical predictions of the model.

Matteo Cervellati, Paolo Vanin (2013). “Thou shalt not covet”: Prohibitions, temptation and moral values. JOURNAL OF PUBLIC ECONOMICS, 103, 15-28 [10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.04.001].

“Thou shalt not covet”: Prohibitions, temptation and moral values

CERVELLATI, MATTEO;VANIN, PAOLO
2013

Abstract

This paper proposes a theory of the relationship between prohibitions and temptation. In presence of self-control problems, moral values may increase individual material welfare (and utility) by serving as a self-commitment device. The model investigates the relationship between morality and temptation, the individual gains from morality, the interaction between external sanctions and moral self-punishment and the spread and strength of individually optimal moral values. The empirical analysis, based on survey data for a large set of countries, documents a hump-shaped pattern of morality in social class, which supports the theoretical predictions of the model.
2013
Matteo Cervellati, Paolo Vanin (2013). “Thou shalt not covet”: Prohibitions, temptation and moral values. JOURNAL OF PUBLIC ECONOMICS, 103, 15-28 [10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.04.001].
Matteo Cervellati; Paolo Vanin
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/138199
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