The Role of Care in Economic Decision Making

This dissertation studies how psychological motives shape economic preferences and outcomes and how these motives are activated through contextual stimuli. In particular, I focus on the motive care which is a prosocial motive that facilitated cooperation by internalizing externalities, whereas caring relationships itself are an important source of individual wellbeing. To this end, we developed two novel experimental methods to induce the motive care and study the implications of care in three different economic settings, in a social dilemma, in altruistic giving and risk taking for others. In the first paper, we induce the motive care via norm compliance and show in a social dilemma game that subjects motivated by care behave more cooperatively, have higher beliefs about the choices of others, have more prosocial preferences and tend to perceive the game as cooperative compared to subjects motivated by anger. In the remaining two papers, we induce care via perceived similarity and show that subjects motivated by care show more altruistic giving and are more loss averse for others in the context of risk taking.


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