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Three Essays on Guilt Aversion : Theory and Experiments

Abstract : The aim of this thesis was to question the scope of influence of guilt-aversion by investigating (i) the direction of guilt: can individuals be guilt averse toward someone who is not affected monetarily by their decisions, or only toward someone whose earnings are affected? (ii) some necessary conditions for the emergence of guilt aversion: does the vulnerability of the person to whom individuals may feel guilty impacts the emergence of guilt? (iii) the robustness of guilt aversion against self-serving bias: are individuals strategic in their information acquisition about others' expectations in order to avoid triggering their guilt? On the one hand, our work revealed for the very first time that people can be guilt-averse even toward people who are not affected monetarily by their decisions. This finding, obtained in the context of an embezzlement game (Chapter 1), was further extended to new contexts where guilt aversion was systematically observed toward players independently of their vulnerability (Chapter 2). On the other hand, although guilt aversion appeared to generalize to a variety of situations, we demonstrated that its robustness may be challenged in situations where the decision-makers have the possibility to avoid the tension between their monetary incentives and their belief-dependent concerns (Chapter 3).
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Submitted on : Friday, October 15, 2021 - 12:25:41 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03380029, version 1


Claire Rimbaud. Three Essays on Guilt Aversion : Theory and Experiments. Economics and Finance. Université de Lyon, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021LYSE2025⟩. ⟨tel-03380029⟩



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