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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. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus Schmidt, 2000. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity – Evidence and Economic Applications," CESifo Working Paper Series 403, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
  6. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. 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 1515, Econometric Society.
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Cited by:
  1. Kemp, Simon & Bolle, Friedel, 2013. "Are egalitarian preferences based on envy?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 57-63.
  2. Dorothea K. Herreiner & Clemens Puppe, 2004. "Envy Freeness in Experimental Fair Division Problems," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse28_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Astri Drange Hole, 2013. "How do economists differ from others in distributive situations?," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 38, pages 4.
  4. Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2010. "Is the veil of ignorance only a concept about risk? An experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1062-1066, December.
  5. 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 2012_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  6. Astri Drange Hole, 2008. "How do economists differ from others in distributive situations?," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 023, University of Siena.
  7. Chmura, Thorsten & Kube, Sebastian & Pitz, Thomas & Puppe, Clemens, 2005. "Testing (beliefs about) social preferences: Evidence from an experimental coordination game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 214-220, August.

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