Integrity and Agreement
Economics When Principles Also Matter
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Chapter 1. Why Integrity?
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Consider the proposition “lying is wrong.” True or false? My experience has shown that most people quickly answer “true.”Not surprisingly, the question tends to be a little more problematic for economists. The first time I asked someone whether lying is wrong, it was of a job candidate.When...
Chapter 2. Preference-Integrity
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Some people do not like to lie. Some people really do not like to lie. Others may be indifferent toward acts of lying, or may even like to lie, especially if doing so can help them achieve other objectives. But to the extent that we model lying,we tend to focus more on the consequences of a lie on other preferences or constraints. For example...
Chapter 3. Commitment-Integrity
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For many, the shortcomings of preference-integrity will suggest the need for a rendering more faithful to the way we usually think about integrity. The version in this chapter addresses that concern by introducing the notion of commitment-integrity, which, most...
Chapter 4. Social Dilemmas and Game Theory
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Game theory is the study of interdependent decision making. It analyzes situations in which outcomes depend on the decisions of more than one individual. Social dilemmas are a particular type of game in which the individual’s self-interest conflicts with the optimal social outcome. For instance, self-interested individuals optimize...
Chapter 5. Lying, Contracts, and Political Behavior
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The previous three chapters provided the theoretical foundations for integrity. This chapter begins the discussion of how integrity, particularly commitment- integrity, works in different contexts. It deals with legal contracts, which turn out to be fairly straightforward, and then moves to a more nuanced area, the political agreement...
Chapter 6. The Employment Agreement
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Of all the myriad types of contracts, the employment contract is perhaps most fundamental. Two reasons jump out. First, it underlies the theory of the firm, a topic itself so central because to understand firms is to gain a deep understanding of how markets work. Second, almost everyone but the most or least privileged has worked...
Chapter 7. Religious Agreements: Beyond the Minimalist Principle
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Religious people seem to do odd things.1 They sometimes shave their heads, pray a lot, and refrain from eating and consuming things they would otherwise enjoy. Some are gentle and compassionate, while others seem especially prone to intolerance and violence. In this chapter I will describe how the notion of religious integrity...
Chapter 8. The Social Contract and Human Rights
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This chapter considers the normative relationship between integrity and the social contract, specifically a human rights–based social contract. A social contract is an agreement between individuals that metes out rights and obligations, and justifies various roles for political entities. Individuals may largely be anonymous to one another, but interrelated nevertheless because of the need for interaction...
Chapter 9. On the Possibility of Integrity
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Having explored what integrity is and how it works, the final question becomes, what factors influence its extent? Specifically, what hinders integrity, and what could promote its development? This chapter investigates those kinds of questions by considering moral training, moral leadership, and integrity- enhancing...
Chapter 10. Conclusion
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I have argued that integrity exists, and that it is economically meaningful. In this concluding chapter I will briefly summarize some of the main points, suggest future research avenues, and discuss how integrity might be placed in or compared with other virtues. The last point means to address those who value different ethical systems, like the feminist notion of an ethic of care or Aristotelian virtue ethics...
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Page Count: 184
Illustrations: 2 tables
Publication Year: 2008
Series Title: Economics, Cognition, and Society