Business Ethics Quarterly 16 (4):559-578 (2006)

Abstract: Suppose we want to know whether the ethics of persons with one characteristic differ from the ethics of persons having another characteristic. Self-selection bias occurs if people have control over that characteristic. When there is self-selection bias, we cannot be sure observed differences in ethics are correlated with the characteristic or are the result of individual self-selection. Self-selection bias is germane to many important business ethics questions. In this paper I explain what self-selection bias is, how it relates to business ethics research, and how to correct for it. I also illustrate the correction process in an empirical analysis of the effect of organizational rank on worker ethics. Using data from the European Values Survey, I find that being a supervisor is positively correlated with worker ethics. However, I also find a negative self-selection effect. Workers with relatively lower ethics are selected into supervisory roles
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1052-150X
DOI 10.5840/beq200616449
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