Do markets erode social responsibility?
This paper studies socially responsible behavior in markets. We develop a laboratory product market in which low-cost production creates a negative externality for third parties, but where alternative production with higher costs mitigates the externality. Our first study, conducted in Switzerland, reveals a persistent preference among many consumers and firms for avoiding negative social impact in the market, reflected both in the composition of product types and in a price premium for socially responsible products. Socially responsible behavior is generally robust to varying market settings, such as increased seller competition and limited consumer information, and it responds to costs and prices in a manner consistent with a model in which positive social impact is a utility-enhancing feature of a consumer product. In a second study, we investigate whether market social responsibility varies across societies by comparing market behavior in Switzerland and China. While subjects in Switzerland and China do not differ in their degree of social concern in non-market contexts, we find that low-cost production that creates negative externalities is significantly more prevalent in markets in China. Across both studies, consumers in markets exhibit less social concern than subjects in a comparable individual choice context, though the difference is much smaller in Switzerland.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2013|
|Date of revision:||May 2014|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Schönberggasse 1, CH-8001 Zürich|
Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
- Raymond Fisman & Shachar Kariv & Daniel Markovits, 2007.
"Individual Preferences for Giving,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1858-1876, December.
- Raymond Fisman & Shachar Kariv & Daniel Markovits, 2005. "Individual Preferences for Giving," Game Theory and Information 0504007, EconWPA.
- Ray Fisman & Shachar Kariv & Daniel Markovits, 2006. "Individual Preferences for Giving," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000468, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993.
"Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
- Christoph Engel, 2010. "Dictator Games: A Meta Study," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Jan 2011.
- Hongbin Cai & Qiao Liu, 2009. "Competition and Corporate Tax Avoidance: Evidence from Chinese Industrial Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 764-795, 04.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997.
"Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
- Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007.
"The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
- Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri D. Hole & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2005. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1611, CESifo Group Munich.
- Plott, Charles R, 1983.
"Externalities and Corrective Policies in Experimental Markets,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369), pages 106-127, March.
- Plott, Charles R., "undated". "Externalities and Corrective Policies in Experimental Markets," Working Papers 180, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Mellström, Carl & Johannesson, Magnus, 2005.
"Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?,"
Working Papers in Economics
180, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2008.
- Carl Mellström & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 845-863, 06.
- Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000.
"A Fine is a Price,"
The Journal of Legal Studies,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
- Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
- Alvin E. Roth, 2006.
"Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets,"
NBER Working Papers
12702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cappelen, Alexander W. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2012.
"When do we lie?,"
Discussion Paper Series in Economics
17/2012, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
- Tara Larson & C. Monica Capra, 2009. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: Illusory preference for fairness? A comment," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(6), pages 467-474, October.
- Joel Sobel, 2009. "Generous actors, selfish actions: markets with other-regarding preferences," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 56(1), pages 3-16, March.
- James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
- Brandts, Jordi & Riedl, Arno & van Winden, Frans, 2009. "Competitive rivalry, social disposition, and subjective well-being: An experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1158-1167, December.
- Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1996. "The Old Lady Visits Your Backyard: A Tale of Morals and Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1297-1313, December.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
- Timothy Besley, 2013. "What's the Good of the Market? An Essay on Michael Sandel's What Money Can't Buy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 478-495, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:134. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.