Homo Moralis: Personal Characteristics, Institutions, and Moral Decision-Making

30 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2016

See all articles by Thomas Deckers

Thomas Deckers

University of Bonn

Armin Falk

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area; briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Fabian Kosse

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Nora Szech

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

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Abstract

This paper studies how individual characteristics, institutions, and their interaction influence moral decisions. We validate a moral paradigm focusing on the willingness to accept harming third parties. Consequences of moral decisions are real. We explore how moral behavior varies with individual characteristics and how these characteristics interact with market institutions compared to situations of individual decision-making. Intelligence, female gender, and the existence of siblings positively influence moral decisions, in individual and in market environments. Yet in markets, most personalities tend to follow overall much lower moral standards. Only fluid intelligence specifically counteracts moral-eroding effects of markets.

Keywords: homo moralis, moral personality, real moral task, markets and personality, trade and morals

JEL Classification: D02, D03, J10

Suggested Citation

Deckers, Thomas and Falk, Armin and Kosse, Fabian and Szech, Nora, Homo Moralis: Personal Characteristics, Institutions, and Moral Decision-Making. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9768, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2742556

Thomas Deckers (Contact Author)

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Armin Falk

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area ( email )

briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 5-9
Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.briq-institute.org/

Fabian Kosse

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

Nora Szech

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ( email )

Kaiserstraße 12
Karlsruhe, Baden Württemberg 76131
Germany

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