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Status Inequality, Moral Disengagement and Violence

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  • Armin Falk
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    This paper studies the causal effect of status differences on moral disengagement and violence. To measure violent behavior, in the experiment, a subject can inflict a painful electric shock on another subject in return for money. We exogenously vary relative status in the realm of sexual attractiveness. In three between-subject conditions, the assigned other subject is either of higher, lower or equal status. The incidence of electric shocks is substantially higher among subjects matched with higher- and lower-status others, relative to subjects matched with equal-status others. This causal evidence on the role of status inequality on violence suggests an important societal cost of economic and social inequalities.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.562709.de/dp1676.pdf
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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1676.

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    Length: 29 p.
    Date of creation: 2017
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1676
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