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Selfishness and Altruism in the Distribution of Travel Time and Income

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  • Nebiyou Tilahun
  • David Levinson

    ()
    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

Most economic models assume that individuals act out their preferences based on their own self interest. However there have also been other paradigms in the economics literature that have tried to capture alternative manifestations of human behavior that include fairness. This study examines people's preferences when it comes to their travel time and their income and what type of trade offs they are willing to make to live in a society where the distributions of travel time and income are fairer. Using a stated preference experiment we find that when it comes to travel time, individuals are more concerned with societal average travel time, followed by their own travel time and finally by large inequalities in the society, while in the case of income they are more concerned with their own income, followed by societal average and finally by inequality.

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File URL: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/Selfishness.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 000023.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:selfishness

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Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
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Web page: http://nexus.umn.edu
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Keywords: Fairness; Inequality; Travel Time; Income; Altruism; Stated Preference; Veil of ignorance; Equity; Time equity; Income Equity; Time distribution; Income Distribution.;

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  1. Elster, Jon, 2006. "Altruistic Behavior and Altruistic Motivations," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  2. Nebiyou Tilahun & David Levinson, 2006. "A Moment of Time: Reliability in Route Choice using Stated Preference," Working Papers 201004, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  3. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  4. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2005. "Balancing Efficiency and Equity of Ramp Meters," Working Papers 200508, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  5. Marchetti, Antonella & Castelli, Ilaria & Harlé, Katia M. & Sanfey, Alan G., 2011. "Expectations and outcome: The role of Proposer features in the Ultimatum Game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 446-449, June.
  6. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
  7. Engelmann,Dirk & Strobel,Martin, 2002. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. DeSerpa, A C, 1971. "A Theory of the Economics of Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 81(324), pages 828-46, December.
  9. Louviere,Jordan J. & Hensher,David A. & Swait,Joffre D., 2000. "Stated Choice Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521788304, April.
  10. Carlsson, Fredrik & Daruvala, Dinky & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2001. "Are People Inequality Averse Or Just Risk Averse?," Working Papers in Economics 43, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  11. Andrew Daly & Stephane Hess & Kenneth Train, 2012. "Assuring finite moments for willingness to pay in random coefficient models," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 19-31, January.
  12. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Evans, Alan W, 1972. "On the Theory of the Valuation and Allocation of Time," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 19(1), pages 1-17, February.
  15. David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1994. "The Rational Locator: Why Travel Times Have Remained Stable," Working Papers 199402, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
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