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Homo moralis: Personal characteristics, institutions, and moral decision-making

Author

Listed:
  • Deckers, Thomas
  • Falk, Armin
  • Kosse, Fabian
  • Szech, Nora

Abstract

This paper studies how individual characteristics, institutions, and their interaction influence moral decisions. We validate a moral paradigm focusing on the willingness to accept harming third parties. Consequences of moral decisions are real. We explore how moral behavior varies with individual characteristics and how these characteristics interact with market institutions compared to situations of individual decision-making. Intelligence, female gender, and the existence of siblings positively influence moral decisions, in individual and in market environments. Yet in markets, most personalities tend to follow overall much lower moral standards. Only fluid intelligence specifically counteracts moraleroding effects of markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Deckers, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian & Szech, Nora, 2016. "Homo moralis: Personal characteristics, institutions, and moral decision-making," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2016-302, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2016302
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Falk, Armin & Szech, Nora, 2013. "Organizations, diffused pivotality and immoral outcomes," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2013-303, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, June.
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    5. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences, and Gender," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 556-590, April.
    6. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
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    12. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys will be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jannis Engel & Nora Szech, 2017. "A Little Good is Good Enough: Ethical Consumption, Cheap Excuses, and Moral Self-Licensing," Working Papers 2017-025, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Jannis Engel & Nora Szech, 2017. "A Little Good is Good Enough: Ethical Consumption, Cheap Excuses, and Moral Self-Licensing," CESifo Working Paper Series 6434, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Rothenhäusler, Dominik & Schweizer, Nikolaus & Szech, Nora, 2016. "Guilt in voting and public good games," Working Paper Series in Economics 99, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    4. Armin Falk & Nora Szech, 2016. "Diffusion of Being Pivotal and Immoral Outcomes," Working Papers 2016-013, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    5. Engel, Jannis & Szech, Nora, 2017. "A little good is good enough: Ethical consumption, cheap excuses, and moral self-licensing," Working Paper Series in Economics 102, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    6. Dominik Rothenhaüsler & Nikolaus Schweizer & Nora Szech, 2016. "Guilt in Voting and Public Good Games," Working Papers 2016-026, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Engel, Jannis & Szech, Nora, 2017. "A little good is good enough: Ethical consumption, cheap excuses, and moral self-licensing," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2017-301, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    homo moralis; moral personality; real moral task; markets and personality; trade and morals;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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