- Business & Society
- Business Ethics Quarterly
- Journal of Business Ethics
- Business Ethics: A European Review
- Journal of Corporate Citizenship
- Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik
- Journal of Public Economics
He has written two volumes on markets and ethics:
- Economics, Ethics and the Market: Introduction and Applications (Routledge, 2007);
- The Market, Happiness and Solidarity: A Christian Perspective (Routledge, 2010).
During 2010-2013 he conducted a major research project into Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe on behalf of the European Union, in which 13,500 companies from 12 European countries provided data for a large survey developed by prof. Graafland. Recently, Graafland has written several articles on Calvin, economics and the credit crisis, on Aristotle’s and Adam Smith’s virtue ethics in relation to markets, and on MacIntyre’s virtue ethics and professional ethics in the financial sector. Prof. Graafland is currently editor of the section on Adam Smith in the Handbook on Virtue Ethics in Business and Management (to be published in 2015 by Springer). In 2014 Graafland published an article on the relationship between economic freedom, trust, GPD and happiness in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
Deelproject(en) in het Goede Markten Project
Selection of Publications
Routledge, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Forthcoming.
This textbook applies economic ethics to evaluate the free market system and enables students to examine the impact of free markets using the three main ethical approaches: utilitarianism, principle-based ethics, and virtue ethics. Ethics and Economics systematically links empirical research to these ethical questions, with a focus on the core topics of happiness, inequality, and virtues. Each chapter offers a recommended further reading list, and digital supplements include a list of key terms. The final chapter provides a practical method for applying the different ethical approaches to morally evaluate an economic policy proposal and an example of the methodology being applied to a real-life policy. This book will give students a clear theoretical and methodological toolkit for analyzing the ethics of market policies, making it a valuable resource for courses on economic ethics and economic philosophy.
Corporate Social Responsibility and SMEs: Impacts and Institutional Drivers Book Forthcoming
Routledge, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Forthcoming.
Graafland, Johan; Verbruggen, Harmen
In: Applied Research in Quality of Life, 2021.
This study explores the relationship between human development and market institutions and tests the performance of three alternative economic perspectives that each assign a different role to governments. In the free-market perspective, the principal task of the government is to protect property rights. In the perfect-market perspective, the government has the additional responsibility of correcting market failures. The welfare-state perspective posits that the state must actively adopt welfare-state policies across a broad range of fields. Based on a sample of 34 OECD countries plus Russia across a time frame spanning 1990 to 2018, the results demonstrate that economic freedom and small size of government do not significantly affect human development as measured by the Human Development Index. Hence, we find no support for the free-market ideal. Conversely, it is found that human development is positively related to governmental interventions that aim to reduce externalities (public expenditure on education and environmental regulation). These results support the perfect-market perspective. With respect to the welfare-state perspective, the findings are mixed. On the one hand, we found that (some) labor market regulations (particularly hiring and firing regulations, hours regulations and mandated cost of worker dismissal) have a negative impact upon human development. On the other hand, human development is shown to be positively affected by governmental intervention seeking to reduce gender stratification in the labor market.
Graafland, Johan; de Bakker, Frank G. A.
Motivation crowding theory examines how external intervention may undermine intrinsic motivation. Earlier research has shown that intrinsic motivation plays a decisive role in fostering environmental performance of households and consumers, but that external pressures may “crowd out” the intrinsic motivations. Similar patterns could be expected in business organizations. However, only a few studies consider crowding effects of financial incentives on businesses’ intrinsic motivation to environmental responsibility, whereas none addresses the impact of external pressures from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and media, despite their prominent role. This study aims to address this gap by offering a mediation framework explaining how pressures from NGOs and media affect intrinsic motivation. Empirically, the paper adds to the scant empirical research by estimating a model on a sample of 4,364 enterprises from twelve European countries. We find that NGOs and media pressures increase financial benefits from environmental responsibility, which in turn crowd in intrinsic motivation in enterprises.
Lous, Bjorn; Graafland, Johan
Who Becomes Unhappy when Income Inequality Increases? Journal Article
In: Applied Research in Quality of Life, 2021.
Literature has established that, on a macroeconomic level, income inequality has a negative effect on average life satisfaction. An unresolved question is, however, which income groups are harmed by income inequality. In this paper we investigate this relationship at the microeconomic level combining national indicators of income inequality with individual data of life satisfaction from the World Values Survey for 39 countries over a period of 25 years. Tests on moderation by income category show that the Gini coefficient is most negatively related to life satisfaction of the lowest income groups, but the negative effects also extends to other income groups. For the income share of the top 1% we find a similar result. These findings show that income inequality is especially a concern for the lower income groups, but that the harmful effect of income inequality also spillovers to the life satisfaction of other income groups.
Vrijemarktinstituties, deugden en maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen Journal Article
In: Management & Organisatie, 2020 (2/3), pp. 36-47, 2020.
In dit artikel onderzoekt de auteur of het effect van economische vrijheid op maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen afhankelijk is van de deugdzaamheid van bedrijven, zoals afgemeten aan hun intrinsieke motivatie voor MVO en hun langetermijngerichtheid. Dit onderzoek past daarmee in een groeiende literatuur waarin rekening wordt gehouden met meer gedragsmatige factoren van MVO-prestaties.
Graafland, Johan; Wells, Thomas
In: Journal of Business Ethics, 2020.
Among business ethicists, Adam Smith is widely viewed as the defender of an amoral if not anti-moral economics in which individuals’ pursuit of their private self-interest is converted by an ‘invisible hand’ into shared economic prosperity. This is often justified by reference to a select few quotations from The Wealth of Nations. We use new empirical methods to investigate what Smith actually had to say, firstly about the relationship between free market institutions and individuals’ moral virtues, and secondly about the further relationship between virtues and societal flourishing. We show with more quantitative precision than traditional scholarship that the invisible hand reading dramatically misrepresents both the nuance and the sum of Smith’s analysis. Smith paid a great deal of attention to a flourishing society’s dependence on virtues, including the non-self-regarding virtues of justice and benevolence, and he worried also about their fragility in the face of the changed incentives and social conditions of commercial society.
Graafland, Johan; Noorderhaven, Niels
In: Journal of International Business Studies, 2020.
Studies of international differences in firm behavior tend to consider either institutional or cultural factors. Focusing on corporate social responsibility (CSR), we conjecture that not only both institutions and culture need to be taken into account, but also the interaction between these two sets of factors. We theorize that the institutions associated with economic freedom in combination with the cultural trait long-term orientation positively influences CSR practices. Panel data of 5023 companies from 41 countries confirm this expectation. This finding pertains both to long-term orientation at the level of the society and at the level of the company. Our findings support calls for more attention to interactive effects of cultures and institutions.
In: Social Indicators Research, 2019, ISSN: 1573-0921.
An increasing volume of literature has shown that economic freedom is related to life satisfaction. However, life satisfaction may not fully describe well-being because of its subjective nature. This study contributes to previous literature by extending analysis of the relationship between economic freedom and life satisfaction to other dimensions of well-being as measured by the better life index of the OECD that includes both objective and subjective measures. A second innovation of this paper is that, in explaining the differences in well-being between countries, we conjecture that the relationship between free market institutions as measured by economic freedom and well-being is moderated by the cultural dimension of long-term orientation. This hypothesis is supported for six out of 11 dimensions of well-being: income, community, health, life satisfaction, safety, and work---life balance. Our study shows that looking at interdependencies between culture and formal institutions can increase the explanatory power of internationally comparative research into well-being.
In: Journal of Institutional Economics, pp. 1–16, 2019.
An increasing volume of literature has shown that human development is related to economic institutions. But previous literature has not considered that the effects of economic institutions on human development are contingent on culture. In this study, we contend that the effects of economic freedom (as an indicator of economic institutions) on human development are dependent on generalized trust (as an indicator of culture). Using panel analysis on a sample of 29 OECD countries during 1990–2015, we find that generalized trust positively moderates the relationship between economic freedom and human development. The policy implication is that free market institutions foster human development only in high trust societies, not in low trust countries.
Articles & Blogs
April 16, 2019
February 19, 2019
The Psychological Mechanisms behind the Workings of the Invisible Hand
January 20, 2018
Series "'Good Markets' book interviews":
Which books – classics or recently published – should you read to acquire a deep understanding of markets and morality? In this series of interviews researchers from the project ‘What Good Markets are Good for’ make their personal recommendation.
Articles in this series:
September 20, 2017