Introducing and Evaluating of New Behavioral Model in Consistent Ethical Behaviors Based on Rational Choice Theory

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University of Tabriz,

2 Professor of Economics, University of Tabriz

3 Professor of Economics, Research Institute of Hawzah and University

4 Associate Professor of Economics, University of Tabriz


Daily experiencing of ethical behaviors in human lives, contradicted common approaches in rational choice theories and self-interest oriented behaviors. So, these behaviors, based on goal orienting aspect of human behaviors, need to be more recognized and explained. Yet, the main theory of predicting rational human behavior, expected utility maximization theory, lacks unanimity towards dealing with ethical preferences and comparing theses preferences with material ones. Until know, despite of various descriptive studies, literature does not have transparent approach toward integrating material and ethical preferences and appearance conditions of ethical behaviors in rational decision making process. This study aims introducing a new behavioral model of consistent ethical behaviors based on rational choice theory. After then for evaluating predictive power of introduced model in context of empirical data, information for 90.000 persons from 57 countries was investigated. Analysis results show the conformity between empirical evidence and theoretical predictions of the model. end of abstract


Main Subjects

  1. Andreoni, J. (1990). Impure altruism and donations to public goods: A theory of warm-glow giving. Economic Journal, 100, 464–477.
  2. Bekkers, R. (2010). Who gives what and when, a scenario study of intentions to give time and money. Social Science Research, 39, 369-381.
  3. Charities Aid Foundation, (2012). World giving index report. United Kingdom.
  4. De Jong, R. (2005). Rational choice theory and moral action. Socio-Economic Review, 3, 117-132.
  5. Deb, R. and Gazzale, R. and Kotchen, M. (2014). Testing motives for charitable giving: A revealed-preferences methodology with experimental evidence. Journal of Public Economics, 120 (2014), 181-192.
  6. Duncan, B. (1999). Modelling charitable contributions of time and money. Journal of Public Economics, 72, 213-242
  7. Fallon, M., & Butterfield, K. (2005). A Review of the empirical ethical decision making literature: 1996-2003. Journal of Business Ethics, 59, 375-413.
  8. Freeman, R. (1997). Working for nothing: The supply of volunteer labor. Journal of Labor Economics, 15, 140–166.
  9. Ichinose, G., & Sayama, H. (2014). Evolution of fairness in the not quite ultimatum game. Sci.Rep.4,5104;Doi:10.1038/Strep05104
  10. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 47, 263-291.
  11. Manski, C. F. (2000). Economic analysis of social interactions. NBER Working Paper. No.7850.
  12. May, D. R., & Pauli, K. P. (2002). The Role of moral intensity in ethical decision making. Business & Society, 41(1), 84–117.
  13. Menchik, P., & Weisbrod, B. (1987). Volunteer labor supply. Journal of Public Economics, 32, 159-183.
  14. Montgomery, J.D. (1992), “Job search and network composition: implications of the strength-of-weak-ties hypothesis. American Sociological Review, 57, 586–596.
  15. Nelson, J. A. (2015). Poisoning the well, or how economic theory damages moral imagination. In Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics (Ed by George Demartino and Deirdre Mccloskey).
  16. Nowak, M., & Page, K., & Sigmund, K. (2000). Fairness versus reason in the ultimatum game. Science Reports, 289, 1773-1775.
  17. Page, K. & Nowak, M. and Sigmund, K. (2000). The spatial ultimatum game. The Royal Society, 267, 2177-2182.
  18. Paollili, A. L. (2009). About the economic origins of altruism. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 38, 60-71.
  19. Parboteeah, K. P., & Cullen, J. B., & Lim, L. (2004). Formal volunteering: a cross national test. Journal of world business, 39, 431-441.
  20. Rest, J. R. (1986). Moral development: advances in research and theory. New York: Praeger.
  21. Sahlin, N. E., & Wallin, A. & Persson, J. (2010). Decision science from ramsey to dual process theory. Synthesis, 172(1), 129-143.
  22. Stanovich, K., & West, R. (2000). Individual differences in reasoning, implications for the rationality debate. Behavioural and Brain Science, 23(5), 645-664.
  23. Ziemek, S. (2006). Economic analysis of volunteers’ motivations: A cross country study. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 35, 532-555.