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Individual notions of distributive justice and relative economic status

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  • Abigail Barr

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Justine Burns

    ()
    (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Luis Miller

    ()
    (University of the Basque Country)

  • Ingrid Shaw

    ()

Abstract

We present two experiments designed to investigate whether individuals’ notions of distributive justice are associated with their relative (within-society) economic status. Each participant played a specially designed four-person dictator game under one of two treatments, under one initial endowments were earned, under the other they were randomly assigned. The first experiment was conducted in Oxford, United Kingdom, the second in Cape Town, South Africa. In both locations we found that relatively well-off individuals make allocations to others that reflect those others’ initial endowments more when those endowments were earned rather than random; among relatively poor individuals this was not the case.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town in its series SALDRU Working Papers with number 66.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:66

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Keywords: Distributive Justice; Inequality; Laboratory Experiments.;

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References

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 4056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Monica Singhal, 2008. "Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Steven McIntosh, 2004. "Further analysis of the returns to academic and vocational qualifications," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19472, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. List, John A. & Cherry, Todd L., 2008. "Examining the role of fairness in high stakes allocation decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-8, January.
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  8. Gantner, Anita & Guth, Werner & Konigstein, Manfred, 2001. "Equitable choices in bargaining games with joint production," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 209-225, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
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  12. Lorraine Dearden & Steven McIntosh & Michal Myck & Anna Vignoles, 2000. "The Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications in Britain," CEE Discussion Papers 0004, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  13. Haroon Bhorat, 2005. "Poverty, Inequality and Labour Markets in Africa: A Descriptive Overview," Working Papers 05092, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  14. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
  15. Oxoby, Robert J. & Spraggon, John, 2008. "Mine and yours: Property rights in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 703-713, March.
  16. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
  17. Cherry, Todd L., 2001. "Mental accounting and other-regarding behavior: Evidence from the lab," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 605-615, October.
  18. Ruffle, Bradley J., 1998. "More Is Better, But Fair Is Fair: Tipping in Dictator and Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 247-265, May.
  19. Pamela Jakiela, 2011. "Social Preferences and Fairness Norms as Informal Institutions: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 509-13, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Barbara Pertold-Gebicka, 2012. "Parental Background and Other-Regarding Preferences in Children," Working Papers IES 2012/10, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Apr 2012.
  2. Caria, Antonia Stefano & Hassen, Ibrahim Worku, 2013. "The formation of job referral networks: Experimental evidence from ubran Ethiopia:," IFPRI discussion papers 1282, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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