Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning

  title={Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning},
  author={Roland B{\'e}nabou and Armin Falk and Jean Tirole},
We study the production and circulation of arguments justifying actions on the basis of morality. By downplaying externalities, exculpatory narratives allow people to maintain a positive image while acting selfishly. Conversely, responsibilizing narratives raise both direct and reputational stakes, fostering prosocial behavior. Such rationales diffuse along a random network, through costly signaling and strategic disclosure. Norms of conduct and discourse, average compliance, and belief… CONTINUE READING

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