Like nature itself, modern economic life is driven by relentless competition and unbridled selfishness. Or is it? Drawing on converging evidence from neuroscience, social science, biology, law, and philosophy, Moral Markets makes the case that modern market exchange works only because most people, most of the time, act virtuously. Competition and greed are certainly part of economics, but Moral Markets shows how the rules of market exchange have evolved to promote moral behavior and how exchange itself may make us more (...) virtuous. Examining the biological basis of economic morality, tracing the connections between morality and markets, and exploring the profound implications of both, Moral Markets provides a surprising and fundamentally new view of economics--one that also reconnects the field to Adam Smith's position that morality has a biological basis. Moral Markets, the result of an extensive collaboration between leading social and natural scientists, includes contributions by neuroeconomist Paul Zak; economists Robert H. Frank, Herbert Gintis, Vernon Smith, and Bart Wilson; law professors Oliver Goodenough, Erin O'Hara, and Lynn Stout; philosophers William Casebeer and Robert Solomon; primatologists Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal; biologists Carl Bergstrom, Ben Kerr, and Peter Richerson; anthropologists Robert Boyd and Michael Lachmann; political scientists Elinor Ostrom and David Schwab; management professor Rakesh Khurana; computational science and informatics doctoral candidate Erik Kimbrough; and business writer Charles Handy. (shrink)
Neuroeconomics has the potential to fundamentally change the way economics is done. This article identifies the ways in which this will occur, pitfalls of this approach, and areas where progress has already been made. The value of neuroeconomics studies for social policy lies in the quality, replicability, and relevance of the research produced. While most economists will not contribute to the neuroeconomics literature, we contend that most economists should be reading these studies.
Trust is a temporary attachment between humans that pervades our daily lives. Recent research has shown that the affiliative hormone oxytocin rises with a social signal of interpersonal trust and is associated with trustworthy behavior (the reciprocation of trust). This commentary reports these results and relates them to the target article's findings for variations in affiliative-related behaviors.
This paper reports findings from a nationally representative sample of working adults to quantify how a culture trust improves business performance. Analysis of the national sample showed that organizational trust and alignment with the company’s purpose are associated with higher employee incomes, longer job tenure, greater job satisfaction, less chronic stress, improved satisfaction with life, and higher productivity. Employees working the highest quartile of organizational trust had average incomes 10.3% higher those working in the middle quartile of trust indicating that (...) trust increases productivity. In order to demonstrate the causal effect of trust on business performance, we created an intervention to increase organizational trust in a division facing high job turnover at a large online retailer. The intervention increased organizational trust by 6% and this improved job retention by 1%. These studies show that management practices that increase organizational trust have salubrious effects on business performance. (shrink)