This article explores whether previous good deeds may license antisocial behaviour, such as appropriating a social surplus for private benefits, in a developing country context, namely Madagascar. We design a two-step framed experiment, with one control treatment (a neutral task) and three test treatments (tasks enabling subjects to earn moral credits in three different ways), followed by a taking game in which subjects are given the opportunity to take an amount from a fund allocated to their University. On average, we find that participants in the three licencing conditions appropriate more than those in the control group and that further differences emerge according to the way the moral credits have been earned.
Moral self-licencing and social dilemmas: an experimental analysis from a taking game in Madagascar
10 January 2018