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When Foul Play Seems Fair: Exploring the Link between Just Deserts and Honesty

Fabio Galeotti, Reuben Kline () and Raimondello Orsini ()
Additional contact information
Reuben Kline: Stony Brook University, Department of Political Science Social and Behavioral Sciences, N735 Stony Brook, NY 11794
Raimondello Orsini: University of Bologna, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Strada Maggiore 45, 40125 Bologna, Italy

No 1719, Working Papers from Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon

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 v iolation of just deserts also entails income inequality.

Keywords: Meritocracy; Equity; Dishonesty; Just Deserts; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D03 D31 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-hpe
Date: 2017
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ftp://ftp.gate.cnrs.fr/RePEc/2017/1719.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: 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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