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Morality and Conflict

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Schmidt,  Dorothee
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schmidt, D. (2005). Morality and Conflict.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-6F88-8
Abstract
In recent debates, morality or social norms have been proposed as an instrument to reduce conflict behavior. As the argument goes, moral people will not engage in socially not-tolerated behavior or, less so than amoral people. Analyzing this question in the framework of contest theory, we find that if morality can discriminate between appropriation and defense, it is an effective instrument to lower socially unwanted behavior and support the enforcement of property rights. If it cannot discriminate between these different conflict efforts, strategic effects due to a one-sided increase in morality might actually lead to total increased conflict effort in the economy.