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Objective and subjective compliance: how 'moral wiggle room' opens

Spiekermann, Kai ORCID: 0000-0003-4983-5589 and Weiss, Arne (2013) Objective and subjective compliance: how 'moral wiggle room' opens. Working paper. Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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We propose a cognitive-dissonance model of norm compliance to identify conditions for strategic information acquisition. The model distinguishes between: (i) objective norm compliers, for whom the right action is a function of the state of the world; (ii) subjective norm compliers, for whom it is a function of their belief. The former seek as much information as possible; the latter acquire only information that lowers, in expected terms, normative demands. The source of `moral wiggle room' is not belief manipulation, but the coarseness of normative prescriptions. In a novel experimental setup, we find evidence for such strategic information uptake.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C9 - Design of Experiments > C91 - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2014 08:37
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:01

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