Social Class and (Un)Ethical Behavior: Evidence from a Large Population Sample
15 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2012 Last revised: 19 Sep 2012
Date Written: May 21, 2012
We test whether and how membership in the upper class affects ethical behavior in a large representative population sample. Using objective measures of socioeconomic status to define class, we find no evidence of a general tendency for upper class to be less ethical, although we do replicate previous findings that higher status leads to less condemnation of infidelity. We also find evidence that higher class status leads to more self-focus and disengagement, as previously shown in laboratory studies with convenience samples.
Keywords: behavioral ethics
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