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The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach

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  • Alexander W. Cappelen
  • Astri Drange Hole
  • Erik Ø Sørensen
  • Bertil Tungodden

Abstract

A core question in the contemporary debate on distributive justice is how to understand fairness in situations involving production. Important theories of distributive justice, such as strict egalitarianism, liberal egalitarianism, and libertarianism, provide different answers to this question. This paper presents the results from a dictator game where the distribution phase is preceded by a production phase. Each player's contribution is a result of a freely chosen investment level and an exogenously given rate of return. We estimate simultaneously the prevalence of three principles of distributive justice among the players and the distribution of the weight they attach to fairness. (JEL D63)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 818-827

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:3:p:818-827

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.3.818
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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Selfish and Indoctrinated Economists?," IEW - Working Papers 103, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. James Konow, 2001. "A Positive Theory of Economic Fairness," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000138, David K. Levine.
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  7. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
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  9. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  10. E.K. Berndt & B.H. Hall & R.E. Hall, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 103-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  12. David Revelt & Kenneth Train, 1998. "Mixed Logit With Repeated Choices: Households' Choices Of Appliance Efficiency Level," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 647-657, November.
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