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Rich Meets Poor - an International Fairness Experiment

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  • Alexander W. Cappelen
  • Karl Ove Moene
  • Erik Ø. Sørensen
  • Bertil Tungodden

Abstract

Why do people in rich countries not transfer more of their income to people in the world's poorest countries? To study this question and the relative importance of needs, entitlements, and nationality in people's social preferences, we conducted a real effort fairness experiment where people in two of the world's richest countries, Norway and Germany, interacted directly with people in Uganda and Tanzania, two of the world's poorest countries. In this experiment, the participants were given the opportunity to transfer money to poor persons with whom they were matched. The study provides four main findings. First, entitlement considerations are crucial in explaining the distributive behavior of rich people in the experiment; second, needs considerations matter a lot for some participants; third, the participants acted as moral cosmopolitans; and finally, the participants' choices are consistent with a self-serving bias in their social preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway in its series CMI Working Papers with number 10.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2008-10

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  1. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2008. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199215911, October.
  2. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Franzen, Axel & Pointner, Sonja, 2012. "Anonymity in the dictator game revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 74-81.
  2. Ben d'Exelle & Arno Riedl, 2010. "Directed generosity and network formation: Network dimension matters," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS), School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. 10-15, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  3. Ismael Rodriguez-Lara & Luis Moreno-Garrido, 2012. "Modeling Inequity Aversion in a Dictator Game with Production," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 138-149, October.

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