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The Role of Equality and Efficiency in Social Preferences

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  • Fehr, Ernst
  • Naef, Michael
  • Schmidt, Klaus M.

Abstract

Engelmann and Strobel (AER 2004) claim that a combination of efficiency seeking and minmax preferences dominates inequity aversion in simple dictator games. This result relies on a strong subject pool effect. The participants of their experiments were undergraduate students of economics and business administration who self-selected into their field of study and learned early on that efficiency is desirable. We show that for non-economists the preference for efficiency is much less pronounced. We also find a 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 Info

Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 30.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:30

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Keywords: Social Preferences; Inequity Aversion; Efficiency Preferences;

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References

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity - Evidence and Economic Applications," IEW - Working Papers 075, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  4. Engelmann,Dirk & Strobel,Martin, 2002. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," Research Memorandum, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  5. Guillaume R. Frechette & John H. Kagel & Steven Lehrer, 2000. "Bargaining in Legislatures: An Experimental Investigation of Open versus Closed Amendment Rules," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers, Econometric Society 1515, Econometric Society.
  6. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Astri Drange Hole, 2013. "How do economists differ from others in distributive situations?," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 38, pages 4.
  2. Dorothea K. Herreiner & Clemens Puppe, 2004. "Envy Freeness in Experimental Fair Division Problems," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers, University of Bonn, Germany bgse28_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Hörisch, Hannah, 2007. "Is the veil of ignorance only a concept about risk? An experiment," Discussion Papers in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 1362, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. repec:noj:journl:v:38:y:2013:p:4 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Kemp, Simon & Bolle, Friedel, 2013. "Are egalitarian preferences based on envy?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 57-63.
  6. Chmura, Thorsten & Kube, Sebastian & Pitz, Thomas & Puppe, Clemens, 2005. "Testing (beliefs about) social preferences: Evidence from an experimental coordination game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 214-220, August.
  7. Jieyao Ding, 2012. "A Portfolio of Dilemmas: Experimental Evidence on Choice Bracketing in a Mini-Trust Game," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2012_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  8. Astri Drange Hole, 2008. "How do economists differ from others in distributive situations?," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena, University of Siena 023, University of Siena.

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