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1676 Status Inequality, Moral Disengagement and Violence Armin Falk 2017 29 S.

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Abstract:

This paper studies the causal effect of status differences on moral disengagement and violence. To measure violent behavior, in the experiment, a subject can inflict a painful electric shock on another subject in return for money. We exogenously vary relative status in the realm of sexual attractiveness. In three between-subject conditions, the assigned other subject is either of higher, lower or equal status. The incidence of electric shocks is substantially higher among subjects matched with higher- and lower-status others, relative to subjects matched with equal-status others. This causal evidence on the role of status inequality on violence suggests an important societal cost of economic and social inequalities.

JEL-Classification:

A13;C91;D03;Z13

Keywords:

Morality, violence, status, inequality, laboratory experiments