Project C investigates what role virtues – at the personal, organizational and governmental level – play in ensuring that markets contribute to people’s well-being. This project swaps the causal role of virtues and free market institutions:
Well-Designed Free Market Institutions
It is often argued that virtues in business / market contexts can contribute to human flourishing if and only if well-designed free market institutions are in place and functioning. For the credibility of our research project it is important to gain further insights into the plausibility of this argument.
Of course it then also becomes important to investigate what ‘well-designed institutions’ are: which institutions tend to foster human flourishing and which not? In addressing this question, attention should be paid to the broader cultural context of institutions.
The following questions are central to this project:
D1. How do different indicators of economic freedom (e.g. size of government, quality of legal system and property rights, sound money, trade openness and government regulation) affect human flourishing? And, more specifically, how and which type of market institutions affect or facilitate corporate social responsibility (CSR)?
D2. What are the views regarding virtues, free market institutions and their potential for human flourishing in different cultural zones in Northern Europe (Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark), Anglo-Saxon countries (UK and US) and Latin Europe (France, Spain, Italy)? How are these views related to influential discourses in economics as a science within these cultural zones?
This project uses a combination of different methodologies:
- Panel estimation using data of economic freedom, ESG ratings, and life satisfaction
- Multilevel regression analysis of data from Eurobarometer, European Values Study
- Archival research
- Oral history