“You only share something when you share it with someone.” An experiment on identity-affecting choices.

With Arne Nasgowitz

Contrary to our relationship with others today, our descendants depend entirely on us. Our production and consumption decisions may change their environment, economic wellbeing, identity, and even the possibility of their existence. So, our relationship with future generations is what in Philosophy is called an identity-affecting situation. How do we justify moral duties to people who do not exist yet and, even more, may never do? With an online experiment, we answer two questions to contribute to the literature in Population Ethics and bridge a relevant question in Philosophy to methods in Experimental Economics. First, do people make different distributive choices in identity-affecting situations? For this, we replicate a recent paper by Kopec & Brunner (2022), and we build on it with a novel variation of the Dictator's game to evaluate the effect of the identity-affecting situation. Second, is people's behaviour in the lab related to moral intuitions about real cases of identity affecting situations? For this, participants answer four questions related to real cases of identity-affecting situations. We test if those answers correlate to decisions in the variations of the Dictator's Game.

Stage: Manuscript in preparation

Projects in earlier stages

Ethical Considerations in risk sharing agreements and pension participation decisions

With Andre Lot and Xiaogeng Xu

Pension systems share mortality risk of its members to ensure guaranteed lifetime income. A key variable in the design of such systems is whether the actuarial gains and losses of one cohort are shared within the same cohort or if they are transmitted to the next. Since all members in society might need a pension, deciding on one system has big implications for social welfare. Both Economic and Ethical consequences must be considered. How acceptable is that a cohort transmits their actuarial risk to others? Is individual behaviour affected by it? Our project explores these questions using laboratory experiments. 

Stage: Fully funded. Experimental design.

Honest and fair: How perceived fairness affect moral behaviour?

With Joel Berge

Life is full of outcomes that affect people’s well-being. Although such might feel unfair, people are expected to adhere to the same moral principles. Previous research shows that people have preferences for honesty and fairness. However, these preferences are not always aligned. On the one hand, someone who has suffered unfairness might feel entitled to be dishonest. On the other, being honest can boost feelings of unfairness. Despite anecdotal evidence, little research has investigated how these preferences interact to influence moral behavior. In this study, we examine how perceptions of fairness affect people’s sense of obligation to adhere to moral standards.

Stage: Fully funded. Experimental design.