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Moral Universalism: Measurement and Heterogeneity

Benjamin Enke (), Ricardo Rodríguez-Padilla and Florian Zimmermann

No 7921, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: This paper introduces a new set of simple experimentally-validated survey games to measure moral universalism: the extent to which people exhibit the same level of altruism and trust towards strangers as towards in-group members. In a representative sample of the U.S. population, an individual’s degree of universalism is largely a domain-general trait. Older people, men, whites, the rich, the rural, and the religious exhibit less universalist preferences and beliefs. Looking at economic behaviors and outcomes, universalists donate less money locally but more globally, are less likely to exhibit home bias in equity and educational investments, have fewer friends, and report being more lonely.

Keywords: moral universalism; in-group bias (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo and nep-soc
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