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Are Most People Consequentialists?

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  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

Welfare economics relies on consequentialism. Whether a public action is good or bad is then determined by the consequences for people, rather than for example by the extent to which it infringes on others’ rights. Yet, many philosophers have questioned this assumption. The present note presents new survey evidence where a representative sample in Sweden are asked about their ethical perceptions with respect to what matters intrinsically. Overall, people’s perceptions are largely consistent with consequentialism.

Suggested Citation

  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2010. "Are Most People Consequentialists?," Working Papers in Economics 467, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0467
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/23246
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    Cited by:

    1. Mitesh Kataria & M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Uhl, 2012. "Paternalism With Hindsight Do protégés react consequentialistically to paternalism?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-050, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Mitesh Kataria & M. Levati & Matthias Uhl, 2014. "Paternalism with hindsight: do protégés react consequentialistically to paternalism?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(3), pages 731-746, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ethics; rights; consequentialism; social cost-benefit analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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