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Individual notions of distributive justice and relative economic status

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  • Abigail Barr
  • Justine Burns
  • Luis Miller
  • 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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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 11/10.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notecp:11/10

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Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
Phone: (44) 0115 951 5620
Fax: (0115) 951 4159
Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/
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Keywords: Distributive Justice; Inequality; Laboratory Experiments;

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  1. Haroon Bhorat, 2005. "Poverty, Inequality and Labour Markets in Africa: A Descriptive Overview," Working Papers 05092, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  2. 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.
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  8. 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.
  9. 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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  13. 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.
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  15. 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.
  16. Dearden, Lorraine, et al, 2002. "The Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications in Britain," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 249-74, July.
  17. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  18. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri D. Hole & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2005. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1611, CESifo Group Munich.
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Cited by:
  1. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Barbara Pertold-Gebicka, 2014. "Parental background and other-regarding preferences in children," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 24-46, March.
  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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