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The limits to moral erosion in markets: Social norms and the replacement excuse


Bartling, Björn; Özdemir, Yagiz (2023). The limits to moral erosion in markets: Social norms and the replacement excuse. Games and Economic Behavior, 138:143-160.

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of a key feature of competitive markets on moral behavior: the possibility that a competitor might step in and conclude the deal if a conscientious market actor forgoes a profitable business opportunity for ethical reasons. In a series of experiments, we study whether people invoke the replacement excuse, that is, the argument “if I don't do it, someone else will,” to justify narrowly self-interested actions. Our data are consistent with the possibility that the existence of a clear social norm of moral conduct can limit the impact of the availability of the replacement excuse on behavior.

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of a key feature of competitive markets on moral behavior: the possibility that a competitor might step in and conclude the deal if a conscientious market actor forgoes a profitable business opportunity for ethical reasons. In a series of experiments, we study whether people invoke the replacement excuse, that is, the argument “if I don't do it, someone else will,” to justify narrowly self-interested actions. Our data are consistent with the possibility that the existence of a clear social norm of moral conduct can limit the impact of the availability of the replacement excuse on behavior.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Finance
Social Sciences & Humanities > Economics and Econometrics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Economics and Econometrics, Finance / Replacement excuse, social norms, moral behavior, competition, markets, utilitarianism, deontological ethics, Geschäftsidee, Unternehmensethik, Soziale Norm, Utilitarismus, Moralisches Handeln
Language:English
Date:1 March 2023
Deposited On:19 Jan 2023 07:27
Last Modified:28 Feb 2024 02:44
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0899-8256
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2022.12.001
Related URLs:https://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/139794/
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)