Guilt and voting in public good games

Dominik Rothenhäusler, Nikolaus Schweizer, Nora Szech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyzes how moral costs affect individual support of morally difficult group decisions. We study a threshold public good game with moral costs. Motivated by recent empirical findings, we assume that these costs are heterogeneous and consist of three parts. The first one is a standard cost term. The second, shared guilt, decreases in the number of supporters. The third hinges on the notion of being pivotal. We analyze equilibrium predictions, isolate the causal effects of guilt sharing, and compare results to standard utilitarian and non-consequentialist approaches. As interventions, we study information release, feedback, and fostering individual moral standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-681
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • moral decision making
  • division of labor
  • shared guilt
  • diffusion of responsibility
  • institutions and morals
  • committee decisions
  • moral transgression


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