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The impact of markets on moral reasoning: Evidence from an online experiment

Jonas Gehrlein, Ann-Kathrin Crede and Nana Adrian

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2020, vol. 87, issue C

Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of markets on moral reasoning. Whereas the current literature focuses on morally relevant decisions that arise in markets, little is known about whether the exposition to markets shapes subsequent moral reasoning. To close this gap, we run a large-scale online experiment with 3 conditions: In Baseline, participants make a choice in a moral dilemma. In the other two conditions, participants are exposed to either a Non-market or Market environment, before facing the identical choice in the moral dilemma. We hypothesize that being exposed to Market induces cost-benefit considerations, which translate into modified reasoning in the subsequent moral dilemma. Compared to the baseline distribution, we indeed find a substantial effect in Market. However, similar choices can be observed in Non-market. We discuss potential explanations for these results, and suggest avenues for future research.

Keywords: Morality; Markets; Deontology; Consequentialism; Otree; Online experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D02 D44 D47 D61 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:soceco:v:87:y:2020:i:c:s221480431930535x

DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2020.101577

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