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Are Most People Consequentialists?

  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

    ()

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

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/23246
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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 467.

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Length: 10 pages
Date of creation: 27 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0467
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden

Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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  1. Konow, James, 2006. "Is Fairness in the Eye of the Beholder? An Impartial Spectator Analysis of Justice," MPRA Paper 2730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Hausman,Daniel M. & McPherson,Michael S., 2006. "Economic Analysis, Moral Philosophy and Public Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521846295, June.
  3. Messer, Kent D. & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D. & Vossler, Christian A., 2006. "Exploring Voting Anomalies Using a Demand Revealing Random Price Voting Mechanism," Working Papers 127062, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  4. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2008. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 2491, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
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  7. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs, 2008. "Testing theories of fairness--Intentions matter," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 287-303, January.
  8. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2008. "Are some lives more valuable? An ethical preferences approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 739-752, May.
  9. Suzumura, Kotaro & Xu, Yongsheng, 2001. "Characterizations of Consequentialism and Nonconsequentialism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 423-436, December.
  10. Hausman,Daniel M. & McPherson,Michael S., 2006. "Economic Analysis, Moral Philosophy and Public Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608664, June.
  11. Dufwenberg, M. & Kirchsteiger, G., 1998. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Discussion Paper 1998-37, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  13. Sen, Amartya K, 1973. "Behaviour and the Concept of Preference," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(159), pages 241-59, August.
  14. Suzumura, Kotaro & Xu, Yongsheng, 2003. "Consequences, opportunities, and generalized consequentialism and non-consequentialism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 293-304, August.
  15. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  16. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
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