Experimental Economics as a Method for Normative Business Ethics

13 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2015

See all articles by Pedro Francés‐Gómez

Pedro Francés‐Gómez

University of Granada

Lorenzo Sacconi

Department of public and sovra-national law, University of Milan ; University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management

Marco Faillo

University of Trento - Faculty of Economics

Date Written: July 2015

Abstract

We advance the thesis that the method of experimental economics can make significant contributions to normative, as opposed to descriptive, business ethics. We contend that there are two basic ways in which experimental economics may make this contribution, and we exemplify these ways by pointing to experimental support of social contract theory as rational foundation for business ethics. These two ways are: (1) adding psychological realism; and (2) testing some quasi‐empirical assumptions present in normative theory. In order to make good our methodological claim, we first describe the methodological rules of experimental economics, distinguishing this method from other behavioral business ethics approaches. We also contemplate the possible objection that empirical methods cannot bear on normative ethics because there is no way of bridging the gap between descriptive theory (how people behave) and normative theory (how people ought to behave).

Suggested Citation

Frances‐Gomez, Pedro and Sacconi, Lorenzo and Faillo, Marco, Experimental Economics as a Method for Normative Business Ethics (July 2015). Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 24, pp. S41-S53, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2637074 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/beer.12096

Pedro Frances‐Gomez (Contact Author)

University of Granada

C/Rector López Argueta S/N
Granada, 18071
Spain

Lorenzo Sacconi

Department of public and sovra-national law, University of Milan ( email )

Via Festa del Perdono 7
Milan

University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

via Inama 5
I-38100 Trento
Italy

Marco Faillo

University of Trento - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Inama 5
Trento, I-38100
Italy

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