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Choices in egalitarian distribution: inequality aversion versus risk aversion

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  • Yoram Kroll
  • Leima Davidovitz
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    Abstract

    Inequality aversion and risk aversion are widely assumed features of economic models. But a review of the literature revealed that inequlity aversion and risk aversion are treated as separate variables. This paper presents exploratory research designed to separate inequality aversion from risk aversion. In a set of laboratory experiments, subjects chose between two alternatives with the same individuals risk, but different levels of egalitarianism. Thus, the choice of the more egalitarian alternative with constant risk level implies a higher level of inequality aversion. The experiment was conducted among 211 eight-year-old children, 107 of whom live on Kibbutz and 104 in the city. We found not significant difference between Kibbutz children and city children in inequality aversion.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6582/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6582.

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    Length: 20 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6582

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    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Inequality; income distribution; risk; experiments;

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    1. Amiel, Yoram & Cowell, Frank A., 1992. "Measurement of income inequality : Experimental test by questionnaire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-26, February.
    2. Hanoch, G & Levy, Haim, 1969. "The Efficiency Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(107), pages 335-46, July.
    3. Kroll, Yoram & Levy, Haim & Rapoport, Amnon, 1988. "Experimental Tests of the Separation Theorem and the Capital Asset Pricing Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 500-519, June.
    4. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    5. Baigent, Nick & Gaertner, Wulf, 1996. "Never Choose the Uniquely Largest: A Characterization," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 239-49, August.
    6. Amiel,Yoram & Cowell,Frank, 1999. "Thinking about Inequality," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521466967, October.
    7. Kachelmeier, Steven J & Shehata, Mohamed, 1992. "Examining Risk Preferences under High Monetary Incentives: Experimental Evidence from the People's Republic of China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1120-41, December.
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