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Self interest and justice principle

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  • Luis José Blas Moreno Garrido

    ()
    (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)

  • Ismael Rodríguez Lara

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

We introduce non-enforceable property rights over bargaining surplus in a dictator game with production, in which the effort of the agents is differentially rewarded. Using experimental data we elicit individual preferences over the egalitarian, the accountability and the libertarian principle and provide evidence to support the inability of these justice principles to account for the observed behavior. Although this finding is consistent with the idea of individuals interpreting justice principles differently, we show that dictators behave self-interested concerning redistribution and choose which justice principle best maximizes their own payoff. We interpret this result as the justice norm imposing a constraint on otherwise self-maximizing agents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 2010-13.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2010-13

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Keywords: dictator game; justice principles; self-interest; self-serving bias.;

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  1. Rutstrom, E. Elisabet & Williams, Melonie B., 2000. "Entitlements and fairness:: an experimental study of distributive preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 75-89, September.
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