Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2022:14: A Model of Social Duties

Tore Ellingsen () and Erik Mohlin ()
Additional contact information
Tore Ellingsen: Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Box 6501, S—11383 Stockholm , Sweden
Erik Mohlin: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: School of Economics and Management, Box 7080, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: We develop a formal model of social duties. Duties to respect entitlements (duties of justice) differ from duties to promote well-being (duties of charity). A situation- specific version of our model takes entitlements as primitives. A fully portable ver- sion derives entitlements from situational characteristics. Utility functions obtain kinks where duties of justice and charity are exactly satisfied. Actions at these kinks are candidates for descriptive social norms. Empirically, duties are identified using Krupka-Weber appropriateness ratings, with negative ratings indicating entitlement violations. The model’s predictions are confronted with established regularities and new survey evidence in seven pre-registered applications.

Keywords: Social norms; Social morality; Entitlements; Dutifulness; Charity

JEL-codes: D91; Z13

Language: English

93 pages, August 24, 2022

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