Moral Hypocrisy, Power and Social Preferences

GATE Working Paper No. 1216

44 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2012 Last revised: 4 Sep 2014

See all articles by Aldo Rustichini

Aldo Rustichini

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2, 2013

Abstract

We study how individuals adjust their judgment of fairness and unfairness when they are in the position of spectators before and after making real decisions, and how this adjustment depends on the actions they take in the game. We find that norms that appear universal instead take into account the players’ bargaining power. Also, individuals adjust their judgments after playing the game for real money, when they behaved more selfishly and only in games where choices have no strategic consequence. We interpret this possibly self-deceptive adjustment of judgments to actions as moral hypocrisy. This behavior appears produced by the attempt to strike a compromise between self-image and payoffs, so as to release oneself of one’s responsibility for selfish behavior.

Keywords: Moral hypocrisy, fairness, social preferences, power, self-deception

JEL Classification: D03, D63, C91, C7

Suggested Citation

Rustichini, Aldo and Villeval, Marie Claire, Moral Hypocrisy, Power and Social Preferences (September 2, 2013). GATE Working Paper No. 1216. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2071104 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2071104

Aldo Rustichini (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics ( email )

271 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS ( email )

93, chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France
+33 472 86 60 79 (Phone)
+33 472 86 60 90 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gate.cnrs.fr/equipe/perso/villeval/villeval.html

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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