Interpersonal interactions in an unequal world: effects of inequality and unfairness on social and consumer decision making

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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The last decades have been marked by a sharp increase in inequality in several countries. The rising differences between the poor and the rich are thought to bring many negative consequences for individuals and societies. For example, inequality increases competition and working hours while decreasing cooperation and subjective well-being. Living in an unequal society can affect our thinking and our behaviour in a variety of ways. In turn, our decisions can contribute to the perpetuation of the gap between the rich and the poor. This thesis investigates how individuals perceive inequality of opportunities and inequality of income and how the unequal distribution of resources impact their decision-making. It specifically investigates how inequality affects individuals’ decisions of which products to buy, their thinking about how resources should be shared and their reactions to those who are fair or unfair to them and others.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Goukens, Caroline, Supervisor
  • Riedl, Arno, Supervisor
  • Geyskens, Kelly, Co-Supervisor
Award date19 Nov 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • inequality
  • unfairness
  • economic mobility
  • decision-making

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