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When foul play seems fair: Exploring the link between just deserts and honesty

Fabio Galeotti, Reuben Kline and Raimondello Orsini

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 142, issue C, 451-467

Abstract: The distributive justice norm of “just deserts”—i.e. the notion that one gets what one deserves—is an essential norm in a market society, and honesty is an important factor in economic and social exchange. We experimentally investigate the effect of violations of the distributive justice norm of “just deserts” on honesty in a setting where behaving dishonestly entails income redistribution. We find that the violation of the just deserts norm results in a greater propensity toward dishonesty. We then test a more general proposition that violations of just deserts induce dishonesty, even in cases where dishonesty does not have redistributive consequences. Our results confirm this proposition but only for cases in which the violation of just deserts also entails income inequality.

Keywords: C91; D03; D31; D63; Meritocracy; Equity; Dishonesty; Just deserts; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Related works:
Working Paper: When Foul Play Seems Fair: Exploring the Link between Just Deserts and Honesty (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: When foul play seems fair: Exploring the link between just deserts and honesty (2017)
Working Paper: When Foul Play Seems Fair: Exploring the Link between Just Deserts and Honesty (2017) Downloads
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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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