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Are people ethical? An experimental approach

Rowen, D. and Dietrich, M. (2007) Are people ethical? An experimental approach. Working Paper. Department of Economics, University of Sheffield ISSN 1749-8368


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Do ethical motivations and attitudes affect behaviour? We examine this issue in six Prisoner´s Dilemma and Prisoner´s Dilemma related games using an online experiment where individuals were asked to make choices and subsequently to express the motivations for their choices and their general attitudes. The experimental evidence of 1,701 students suggests that the motivations and attitudes of respondents regarding altruism, inequality aversion, reciprocity and aversion to lying are important for determining economic choices as well as self-interest. Econometric analysis of the choice to share indicates that ethical and self-interested motives are more important for determining choices than personal characteristics.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: The Sheffield Economics Research Paper (SERP) series offers a forum for the research output of the academic staff and research students of the Department of Economics, University of Sheffield. Papers are reviewed for quality and presentation by a departmental editor. However, the contents and opinions expressed remain the responsibility of the authors. All papers may be downloaded free on the understanding that the contents are preliminary and therefore permission from the author(s) should be sought before they are referenced.
Keywords: Individual decision making, ethics, experimental economics, prisoner’s dilemma games, student attitudes and motivations
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Economics (Sheffield) > Sheffield Economics Research Papers Series
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2009 16:12
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2014 13:07
Published Version: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/yea...
Status: Published
Publisher: Department of Economics, University of Sheffield
Identification Number: Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series 2007014
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9971

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