Freedom Center Talks: 'Price Gouging? Says Who?'
The Center for the Philosophy of Freedom speaker series, "FC Talks - Conversations with Scholars Doing Research," welcomes experimental ethics scholar Johanna Jauernig who will share her research: "Understanding Market Moralism: An Experimental Inquiry into the Perception of Price Gouging."
External shocks, e.g., due to a pandemic, lead to price jumps in the short term. The resulting "price gouging" is often ascribed to sellers' selfish exploitation of the crisis, rather than being read as a signal of scarcity. In her experimental study, Jauernig investigated the drivers of fairness perceptions regarding voluntary transactions in situations of scarcity. Her results show that this zero-sum fallacy is not driven by naive mercantilism but by perceptions of power. Casting light on the psychological mechanisms behind attitudes toward markets, this research agenda aims to better understand the legitimacy issues which can be interpreted as a moral paradox of modernity.