Aspects of pro-social behaviour: theory and experiments

Kotsidis, Vasileios (2018) Aspects of pro-social behaviour: theory and experiments. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Chapter 1 introduces the work, providing an overview of the common themes underlying the research and outlining the focus and approach particular to each project.

Chapter 2 proposes a game-theoretic model that shows how moral preferences can emerge endogenously to promote material outcomes and traces their relationships with the fundamentals of the environment. The analysis indicates that the instilling of moral values can act as a commitment mechanism that counteracts the detrimental effects of behavioural biases. The greater the effect of such biases on the agents’ decisions (and, thus, payoffs), the more expanded the scope for morality.

The study in chapter 3 tests the performance of a leading account of social preferences, namely the model of inequality aversion proposed by Fehr and Schmidt (1999), in tracking behaviour. It does so through an appropriately designed experiment. The aim is to evaluate if the account can consistently anticipate people’s behaviour. The results suggest that the model performs well only with respect to people that exhibit either very high or very low aversion to advantageous payoff inequality.

The study in chapter 4 repeats the exercise reported in chapter 3, this time with respect to an account of social preferences that builds on the idea of social norm compliance, in particular, the one proposed by Krupka and Weber (2013). The aim is again to evaluate if the model performs well in consistently tracking people’s behaviour. The results do not offer much support for the explanatory power of the model. The individuals that exhibit the least concern about adhering to social norms and are choosing the payoff-maximising options are the only ones the actions of whom match the model’s predictions.

Chapter 5 summarises the findings of this thesis and concludes.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Sonderegger, Silvia
Nosenzo, Daniele
Keywords: Game theory; Experimental economics; Social psychology
Subjects: H Social sciences > HM Sociology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Economics
Item ID: 51676
Depositing User: Kotsidis, Vasileios
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2018 12:27
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 18:03

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