Willingness to Cooperate and Stages of Moral Reasoning: Evidences from Common-Pool Resource Experiments with 'Nonbinding' Communication and Sanctioning Conditions

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"As economists increasingly recognize the limits of the canonical assumption of self-interest, the lack of a theory of human valuation that clearly specifies how individuals reach utility judgments renders the prediction of rational action in intersubjective, morally relevant conflicts of action virtually impossible. Resting on fundamental assumptions about the cognitive content of the moral judgment, we examine the explanatory power derived from a structuralist-constructivist theory of adult development which presents real analytical significance for understanding behavioral diversity in situations where the individual and the collective interests collide. Experimental results suggest that the theoretical constructs built in the selected model provide reliable basis for predicting participants' behavior in a common-pool resource dilemma under diverse institutional conditions, including communication and sanctioning mechanism. These are selected results from a broader experimental research in which the same developmental model proved useful for elucidating the interplay among value judgments, motivations, internationalities, and decisions in both public-goods and ultimatum game experiments."
behavior, development, social dilemmas, experimental economics