publication . Preprint . 2004

Incentives and Prosocial Behaviour

Bénabou, Roland; Tirole, Jean;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Sep 2004
We build a theory of prosocial behaviour that combines heterogeneity in individual altruism and greed with concerns for social reputation or self-respect. The presence of rewards or punishments creates doubt as to the true motive for which good deeds are performed, and this ‘overjustification effect’ can result in a net crowding out of prosocial behaviour by extrinsic incentives. The model also allows us to identify settings that are conducive to multiple social norms of behaviour, and those where disclosing one’s generosity may backfire. Finally, we analyse the equilibrium contracts offered by sponsors, including the level and confidentiality or publicity of in...
free text keywords: altruism; crowding out; D64; identity; motivation; overjustification effect; reputation; rewards; social norms; Z13, jel:D82, jel:H41
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