There are Free Lunches Statement of Intentions

There are Free Lunches: Behavioral Clues to Live Happy in the Economic World is a blog that intends to present updated and relevant information about the "hidden" and only recently uncovered dimensions of the economic science: the behavioral factors. With this blog we intend to promote in Europe and in the rest of the World, the top research articles and perspectives on behavioral economics, decision making, consumer behavior, and general behavioral science. We aim to be followed by journalists, academics, managers, civil servants, and everyone who wishes to improve their daily interaction with the economic world and consequently, their lives' happiness.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

CO2 #2 Greed Prevents Good (via New York Times)

In 1986, Ivan Boesky spoke here at our university and proclaimed “greed is healthy.” Lore has it that Boesky and this speech inspired the Gordon Gekko character in Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street,” and the “Greed is … good” speech. Now, some 25 years later, seven studies we conducted, some on this same campus, have proved the opposite, that greed, far from being good, undermines moral behavior.

In this research we looked at the ethical conduct among society’s haves and have-nots. In one study we found that wealthier subjects cheated more. After five apparently random rolls of a computer die for a chance to win some cash, wealthier participants were more likely to report scores higher than 12 — even though the game was rigged so that scores higher than 12 were impossible. When we positioned assistants at four-way traffic stops and pedestrian zones, wealthy drivers in high-priced cars were more likely to cut off other drivers or ignore pedestrians. In still other studies, the wealthy were more likely to lie in negotiations and endorse unethical behavior at work, like deceiving clients for profit. Wealthier subjects even took more candy from a jar that was ostensibly for children.

What to know more about greed? Go here to the NYT debate: GreedGood

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