People Don’t Actually Want Equality. They Want Fairness Bernie Sanders talks about economic inequality all the time, and it’s a message that resonates. You don’t need to be a socialist to worry about the divide between rich and poor in … Continue reading A wish for fairness
The Economics of Team Success, or How to Waste Money on Big-Name Stars in Pro Football It’s a no brainer to think that talents lead to high performance. That’s why we go after them with money. But does it work … Continue reading Salary fairness
Technology, the Faux Equalizer Just over a century ago, an electric company in Minnesota took out a full-page newspaper advertisement and listed 1,000 uses for electricity. Bakers could get ice-cream freezers and waffle irons! Hat makers could put up electric … Continue reading Is technological innovation unfair?
Most Americans Aren’t Ready to Give Up Tipping Last year, the New York restaurateur Danny Meyer announced he’d be eliminating tipping at 14 of his restaurants by the end of 2016, affecting most of his 1,800 employees’ compensation. That, plus … Continue reading Is tipping unfair?
How We Learn Fairness A pair of brown capuchin monkeys is sitting in a cage. From time to time, their caretakers give them tokens, which they can then exchange for food. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that capuchin monkeys prefer … Continue reading Are you a loyalist or a ruthless competitor?
What Would You Pay for This Meal? How often have you bought something you felt wasn’t worth the money? What if you could set the price? What factors would influence your number? For years, behavioral scientists have studied such questions. … Continue reading Menu with no prices
The Good, The Bad, The Economy Environmentalism has made major strides in capturing many people’s imaginations over the last few decades. From the concern of just a few activists, agreement that the natural environment is worth preserving extends at least to a willingness to recycle containers and unwanted paper, awareness of the dangers posed by global warming, and worry about melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and more violent storms. But when it comes to significant trade-offs between our convenience (the door to door luxury of the private automobile) or livelihoods (running industries on cheap fossil fuels), on the … Continue reading Institutions can harness the “better angels of our nature”