Chen on Law and Literature: Theory and Evidence on Empathy and Guile @Daniel_L_Chen

Daniel L. Chen, Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France, is publishing Law and Literature: Theory and Evidence on Empathy and Guile in the Review of Law and Economics. Here is the abstract. Legal theorists have suggested that literature stimulates empathy and affects moral judgement and decision-making. I present a model to formalize the potential effects of empathy on third parties. Empathy is modeled as having two components–sympathy (the decision-maker’s reference point about what the third party deserves) and emotional theory of mind (anticipating the emotions of another in reaction to certain actions). I study the causal effect with a data entry experiment. Workers enter text whose content is randomized to relate to empathy, guile, or a control. Workers then take the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET) and…

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