Philosophy, Politics, and Economics


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 194
  • Publication
    (2020-12-01) Mehra, Richa
  • Publication
    Do the Right Thing: But Only If Others Do So
    (2009-04-01) Bicchieri, Cristina; Xiao, Erte
    Social norms play an important role in individual decision making. We argue that two different expectations influence our choice to obey a norm: what we expect others to do (empirical expectations) and what we believe others think we ought to do (normative expectations). Little is known about the relative importance of these two types of expectation in individuals' decisions, an issue that is particularly important when normative and empirical expectations are in conflict (e.g., systemic corruption, high crime cities). In this paper, we report data from Dictator game experiments where we exogenously manipulate dictators' expectations in the direction of either selfishness or fairness. When normative and empirical expectations are in conflict, we find that empirical expectations about other dictators' choices significantly predict a dictator's own choice. However, dictators' expectations regarding what other dictators think ought to be done do not have a significant impact on their decisions after controlling for empirical expectations. Our findings about the crucial influence of empirical expectations are important for designing institutions or policies aimed at discouraging undesirable behavior.
  • Publication
    The Lasting Impact of Subsistence Style on Moral Norms and Attitudes: How the Way We Used to Eat Shapes Our Morality Today
    (2018-05-09) Ma, Keunyoung
    In the last few decades, the field of cultural psychology has received increasing attention due to the recognition that individual actions and thoughts are guided by more than one’s biology. Layering in the cultural context in which people exist has enriched our understanding of the human psyche but has also raised questions about the origins of cultural differences. This thesis explores one possible explanation, namely the historical subsistence style of a region. In the most basic sense, subsistence style refers to the way we used to eat, whether it be farming, herding, or hunting, and some cultural psychologists have found evidence suggesting that subsistence styles – even if they are no longer practiced – continue to shape contemporary cultures and their conceptions of morality. This thesis evaluates the theoretical underpinnings of Subsistence Style Theory and extrapolates its implications to moral attitudes and norms, including human rights, upheld by various cultures.
  • Publication
    Cross-National Differences in Gain-Domain Risk Preferences among Older Populations: Judgment and Decision-Making Behaviors in Rapidly Aging Countries
    (2019-05-15) Joo, Samuel; Baek, Suyoung
    This research explores the systematic, cross-national differences in choice-inferred risk preferences between American and South Korean ("Korean") elders. A total of four different same groups--American elders, Korean elders, American young adults, and Korean young adults--were surveyed. All four groups were asked to partake in a two-part questionnaire: one pertaining to their background information and the other consisting of a set of gain-domain choice questions based on hypothetical lottery situations. The result of the study highlights three statistically significant (a=0.05) findings among the groups surveyed: (1) The Korean elderly group tends to be more risk-averse than the American elderly group, (2) the American elderly group tends to be more risk-seeking than the American young adult group, (3) and the Korean elderly group tends to be more risk-averse than the Korean young adult group.
  • Publication
    An Overview of Positive Economic Rights in American Political Thought
    (2022-01-01) Ryan, Noah
    Positive economic rights are entitlements an individual has for the state to provide for their basic needs. Though codified in international law, the existence of such rights remains deeply controversial in the United States. This thesis will explore the concept of positive economic rights throughout American history, beginning in the Colonial Period and ending with the recent revival of positive economic rights discourse since Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. The thesis will explore political literature related to positive rights, state duties to the poor, and positive liberty—a concept frequently invoked by advocates for positive economic rights. Through political literary analysis, I will argue that while the concept of state duties to the poor spans the full duration of American history, the framing of such duties in terms of individual rights is largely a product of the New Deal Era. The thesis will also explore arguments against positive economic rights, which began to intensify during the late 1960s. Though positive economic rights receded to the fringes of American discourse during the Reagan years, support for these rights appears to be making a comeback.
  • Publication
    The Middle-Class: Shouldering the Burden of Corporate Tax Havens and the Encumberment of Economic Globlization
    (2019-02-26) Poole, Katherine
    The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which corporate tax evasion and other vehicles of economic globalization may infringe upon the prosperity of the middle class. Corporate tax evasion has increasingly taken form in offshore financial centers, allowing wealthy individuals and corporations to engage in tax evasion, resulting in substantial losses in government tax revenues. While this loss is being compensated for by increased taxes upon the middle class, this demographic is also suffering from the slashing of programs and state-sponsored benefits due, in part, to the pervasive losses in government revenue. After exploring the effects of offshore financial centers and economic globalization on national prosperity, I will evaluate counter movements to the phenomenon as well as the legislative response designed to quell its implications, ultimately suggesting a global reform effort for the purpose of middle-class liberalization and increasing economics egalitarianism.
  • Publication
    Norm Manipulation, Norm Evasion: Experimental Evidence
    (2013-01-01) Bicchieri, Cristina; Chavez, Alex K
    Using an economic bargaining game, we tested for the existence of two phenomena related to social norms, namely norm manipulation – the selection of an interpretation of the norm that best suits an individual – and norm evasion – the deliberate, private violation of a social norm. We found that the manipulation of a norm of fairness was characterized by a self-serving bias in beliefs about what constituted normatively acceptable behaviour, so that an individual who made an uneven bargaining offer not only genuinely believed it was fair, but also believed that recipients found it fair, even though recipients of the offer considered it to be unfair. In contrast, norm evasion operated as a highly explicit process. When they could do so without the recipient's knowledge, individuals made uneven offers despite knowing that their behaviour was unfair.
  • Publication
    Letter from the Editors
    (2017-11-14) Sun, Isabelle; Tran, Abby
  • Publication
    Norms of Cooperation
    (1990-07-01) Bicchieri, Cristina