The paper presented in this ZEW Research Seminar examines how the erosion of morals in markets depends on the marketpower of individual traders. Previously studied single-unit markets provide market power to individual traders by limiting the roles of two forces: (i) the replacement logic, whereby immoral trading is justified by the belief that others would trade otherwise; (ii) market selection, by which the least moral trader determines quantities. In an experiment, they compare single-unit to (more common) multi-unit markets which may activate these forces. The authors find that, in contrast to single-unit markets, multi-unit markets show full erosion of morals. Especially the replacement logic drives this finding. In addition, they find that (i) market experience leads to biased social learning, whereby subjects believe that others are less moral than they actually are; (ii) erosion of morals persists partially after multi-unit markets; (iii) changes in social norms are not driving these results.


Theo Offerman

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you would like to participate and to stay up to date about upcoming presentations, please join our mailing list. You will receive the Zoom link for each talk.

The seminar presentations are scheduled to last 60 minutes: 45 minutes of presentation and 15 minutes for both comments and questions.

We will experiment with various methods for questions: A moderator collects questions during the presentation. Speakers will be encouraged to pause every few slides to allow a gap for questions. The moderator will relay clarification questions or unmute selectively during the talk. Remaining questions will be collected and asked in the discussion period.

Just like with other initiated virtual seminars, these rules are subject to change as we gain experience with how to handle the seminar most efficiently.

The idea for this format was borrowed from the Chamberlain Seminar. Other online seminars can be found at the AEA website.

The Virtual Market Design Seminar is an open online alternative to seminars cancelled due to the COVID-19. Seminars will cover all fields from market design. The seminar presentations are scheduled to last 60 minutes, after 45 minutes of presentation, 15 minutes are for both comments and question.


12.04.2021 | 16:00 - 17:00 (CET)

Event Location