The Role of Equality and Equity in Social Preferences
AbstractEngelmann and Strobel (AER 2004) question the relevance of inequity aversion in simple dictator game experiments claiming that a combination of a preference for efficiency and a Rawlsian motive for helping the least well-off is more important than inequity aversion. We show that these results are partly based on a strong subject pool effect. The participants of the E&S experiments were undergraduate students of economics and business administration who self-selected into their field of study (economics) and learned in the first semester that efficiency is desirable. We show that for non-economists the preference for efficiency is much less pronounced. We also find a non-negligible gender effect indicating that women are more egalitarian than men. However, perhaps surprisingly, the dominance of equality over efficiency is unrelated to political attitudes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 725.
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Social Preferences; Inequity Aversion; Efficiency Preferences;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-11-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2005-11-19 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2005-11-19 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2005-11-19 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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