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Equality, Equity and Incentives: An Experiment

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  • Balafoutas, Loukas
  • Kocher, Martin G.
  • Putterman, Louis
  • Sutter, Matthias

Abstract

We study a fundamental conflict in economic decision-making, the trade-off between equality, equity and incentives, in a new experimental game that nests a voluntary contributions mechanism in a broader spectrum of incentive schemes. In a 2×2 design, we let subjects either vote on or exogenously encounter incentive settings while assigned unequal endowments are either task-determined or random. We find that earned endowments lead to less support for redistribution and less cooperation. Subjects' voting is influenced by egalitarian and equity concerns, in addition to self-interest. Cooperation rates respond rather continuously to incentives.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 18172.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Publication status: Published in European Economic Review 60(2013-05): pp. 32-51
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:18172

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Cited by:
  1. Weng, Qian & Carlsson, Fredrik, 2013. "Cooperation in teams: the role of identity, punishment and endowment distribution," Working Papers in Economics 551, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Großer, Jens & Reuben, Ernesto, 2009. "Redistributive Politics and Market Efficiency: An Experimental Study," IZA Discussion Papers 4549, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Annarita COLASANTE & Alberto RUSSO, 2014. "The Impact of Inequality on Cooperation: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 401, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  4. Oechssler, Jörg, 2011. "Finitely repeated games with social preferences," Working Papers 0512, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  5. R. Kline & F. Galeotti & R. Orsini, 2014. "When Foul Play Seems Fair: Dishonesty as a Response to Violations of Just Deserts," Working Papers wp920, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. Neil Buckley & Katherine Cuff & Jeremiah Hurley & Stuart Mestelman & Stephanie Thomas & David Cameron, 2013. "Support for Public Provision with Top-Up and Opt-Out: A Controlled Laboratory Experiment," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-15, McMaster University.
  7. Ku, Hyejin & Salmon, Timothy C., 2013. "Procedural fairness and the tolerance for income inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 111-128.

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