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Looking for Agreement: an Experiment on Distributive Justice

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  • Marco Faravelli

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

Abstract

We explore distributive justice and perception of fairness using survey data concerning fresher and senior students of economics and sociology. We analyse the impact of context and education on their preferences over a hypothetical distribution of resources between individuals, presenting a trade off between efficiency and equality. With context giving minimal information, economics students are less likely to favour equality; studying economics influences the preferences of the subjects, increasing this difference. However, when the same problem is inserted into a meaningful context, the difference disappears. Four distribution mechanisms are analysed: egalitarianism, maximin, utilitarianism and utilitarianism with a floor constraint.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper92.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 92.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision: Oct 2005
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:92

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  1. Rawls, John, 1974. "Some Reasons for the Maximin Criterion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 141-46, May.
  2. Güth, Werner & Kliemt, Hartmut & Ockenfels, Axel, 2000. "Fairness versus efficiency: An experimental study of (mutual) gift giving," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,6, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  3. Robert H. Frank & Thomas D. Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1996. "Do Economists Make Bad Citizens?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 187-192, Winter.
  4. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Selfish and Indoctrinated Economists?," IEW - Working Papers 103, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
  6. Anthony M. Yezer & Robert S. Goldfarb & Paul J. Poppen, 1996. "Does Studying Economics Discourage Cooperation? Watch What We Do, Not What We Say or How We Play," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 177-186, Winter.
  7. Gaertner, Wulf & Jungeilges, Jochen & Neck, Reinhard, 2001. "Cross-cultural equity evaluations: A questionnaire-experimental approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 953-963, May.
  8. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  9. Yung-An Hu & Day-Yang Liu, 2003. "Altruism versus Egoism in Human Behavior of Mixed Motives," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 677-705, October.
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