Institutions, Morals, and Markets
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
- Chair: Alberto Bisin, New York University
Altruistic capital in banking
AbstractWe collect and analyze unique survey data on social impact and social worth of approximately 9000 employees of a large global bank across 55 countries. We show that: (i) the answers given by bank employees do not differ systematically from answers to the same questions asked of employees in pro-social jobs; (ii) both perceived social impact and social worth are correlated with performance and proxies of pro-social behavior; (iii) perceived social worth is lower in countries more severely hit by the financial crisis. The results suggest that bank employees are affected by society’s perception of their impact and the crisis might have triggered a vicious cycle that potentially reduces social welfare.
Economic Development and the Regulation of Taboo Trades
AbstractSocieties prohibit many economic activities because they consider them morally “repugnant”, even in the absence of direct negative externalities or safety concerns. Not only have these prohibitions and related ethical concerns changed over time, but there is also wide heterogeneity in how countries regulate these “taboo trades” in a given time. In this study we provide evidence of this heterogeneity for three activities that are considered morally controversial: abortion, prostitution, and surrogacy. In particular we explore the relationship between a country’s economic conditions and the type of legislation regulating these activities. We also assess how historical, cultural and political factors affect the relationship between economic development and the regulation of morally controversial transactions.
The Challenge of Measuring National Well-Being
AbstractThe development of the concepts and techniques for measuring GDP was a
careful and sometimes arduous process. The development of National
Well-Being indices should be approached with the same level of care.
Even leaving aside the thorny issue of interpersonal aggregation,
primary challenges include identifying the aspects of well-being to
include in the index, formulating survey questions to measure the
levels of different aspects and the relative importance of each
aspect, and choosing and interpreting the response scales. We discuss
progress to date on these issues, remaining challenges, and some
possible approaches to overcoming them.
- N0 - General