- Affect and fairness in economics
- Social Justice Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
A strained relationship exists between mainstream economics and ethics. Over the last decade, behavioral economists have strongly argued for the importance of fairness in motivating behavior, based on substantial experimental evidence. Two main approaches to the modeling of fairness have been proposed: the outcome-based inequity aversion approach, and the intention-based reciprocity approach. Both approaches have been quite successful in explaining the experimental evidence. Nonetheless, this paper questions the role that is assigned to fairness in these models and the way fairness is incorporated, using recent experimental findings concerning emotions and fairness perceptions. The analysis supports the view that feelings are important for justice, also from a policy perspective, and pleads for closer attention being paid to the functioning of emotional brain systems.
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