Moral Rules, the Moral Sentiments, and Behavior: Toward a Theory of an Optimal Moral System

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Moral Rules, the Moral Sentiments, and Behavior: Toward a Theory of an Optimal Moral System

Citable link to this page

 

 
Title: Moral Rules, the Moral Sentiments, and Behavior: Toward a Theory of an Optimal Moral System
Author: Kaplow, Louis; Shavell, Steven

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell, Moral Rules, the Moral Sentiments, and Behavior: Toward a Theory of an Optimal Moral System, 115 J. Pol. Econ. 494 (2007).
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: How should moral sanctions and moral rewards—the moral sentiments involving feelings of guilt and of virtue—be employed to govern individuals’ behavior if the objective is to maximize social welfare? In the model that we examine, guilt is a disincentive to act and virtue is an incentive because we assume that they are negative and positive sources of utility. We also suppose that guilt and virtue are costly to inculcate and are subject to certain constraints on their use. We show that the moral sentiments should be used chiefly to control exter- nalities and further that guilt is best to employ when most harmful acts can successfully be deterred whereas virtue is best when only a few individuals can be induced to behave well. We also contrast the optimal use of guilt and virtue to optimal Pigouvian taxation and discuss extensions of our analysis.
Published Version: doi:10.1086/519927
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10611799
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

 
 

Search DASH


Advanced Search
 
 

Submitters