Fairness and the Moral Mind

Fairness and the Moral Mind

Project manager: Bertil Tungodden

Project duration: 2018 - 2023


Project details:

The project provides a comprehensive and groundbreaking approach to the analysis of the moral mind and inequality acceptance. The first part of the project will provide a novel study of how the moral ideals of personal responsibility and individual freedom, which are fundamental values in most liberal societies, shape inequality acceptance. It will also provide the first experimental study of how people draw the moral circle, which is at the heart of the most pressing policy challenges facing the world today and strongly related to the question of global fairness. The second part will study how social institutions shape inequality acceptance and how it develops in childhood and adolescence, by providing two unique international studies of inequality acceptance in 60 countries across the world.
These studies will provide novel insights on the distributive behavior of nationally representative samples of adults and children and on the cultural transmission of moral preferences in society. The project is rooted in behavioral and experimental economics, but will also draw on insights from other social sciences and philosophy. It will develop novel experimental paradigms to study the moral mind and the nature of inequality acceptance, including incentivized experiments on nationally representative populations, and combine structural and non-parametric empirical analysis with theory development. Taken together, the project represents a unique study of inequality acceptance in the social sciences that will address an important knowledge gap in the literature on inequality.

Core research team

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