Fairness and the Moral Mind

Fairness and the Moral Mind

This project offers a pioneering analysis of the moral mind and inequality acceptance. Through innovative studies spanning 60 countries, it uncovers the influence of core values on societal attitudes towards inequality, addressing a critical knowledge gap in the field.


The project provides a comprehensive and groundbreaking approach to the analysis of the moral mind and inequality acceptance. The first part of the project will provide a novel study of how the moral ideals of personal responsibility and individual freedom, which are fundamental values in most liberal societies, shape inequality acceptance. It will also provide the first experimental study of how people draw the moral circle, which is at the heart of the most pressing policy challenges facing the world today and strongly related to the question of global fairness. The second part will study how social institutions shape inequality acceptance and how it develops in childhood and adolescence, by providing two unique international studies of inequality acceptance in 60 countries across the world.

These studies will provide novel insights on the distributive behavior of nationally representative samples of adults and children and on the cultural transmission of moral preferences in society. The project is rooted in behavioral and experimental economics, but will also draw on insights from other social sciences and philosophy. It will develop novel experimental paradigms to study the moral mind and the nature of inequality acceptance, including incentivized experiments on nationally representative populations, and combine structural and non-parametric empirical analysis with theory development. Taken together, the project represents a unique study of inequality acceptance in the social sciences that will address an important knowledge gap in the literature on inequality.

The project has received funding from the ERC.

Fairness and the Moral Mind Workshop

As part of the project, online workshops are organized with the aim of showcasing novel experimental endeavors undertaken by emerging scholars.

More about the Fairness and the Moral Mind Workshop

While behavioral economics and other social sciences have acknowledged that human motivations extend beyond narrow self-interest, the intricate landscape of the moral mind remains inadequately explored and understood. Varied in their moral inclinations, individuals differ not only in the extent to which they prioritize moral factors but also in determining their relevance across situations.

Project Duration

2018 - 2024

Project manager

Core research team

ERC Funded

Subscribe to the FAIR Newsletter

Go to the subscription page

Contact fair@nhh.no
Social media     FAIR-TCL   FAIR-CELE