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Inequality Aversion versus Risk Aversion


  • Yoram Kroll

    (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

  • Liema Davidovitz

    (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)


Inequality aversion and risk--aversion are widely assumed in economic models; however existing economic literature fails to distinguish between the two. This paper presents methodology and a laboratory experiment, which separates inequality aversion from risk aversion. In a set of laboratory experiments, subjects had to choose between two risky alternatives which pay meaningful prizes with the same individual risk but different levels of egalitarianism. Thus, the choice of the more egalitarian alternative implies a higher level of inequality aversion. The experiment was conducted among children, some of whom live on a communal system (kibbutz) and some in the city. Copyright The London School of Economics and Political Science 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Yoram Kroll & Liema Davidovitz, 2003. "Inequality Aversion versus Risk Aversion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(277), pages 19-29, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:70:y:2003:i:277:p:19-29

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brice Magdalou & Dimitri Dubois & Phu Nguyen-Van, 2009. "Risk and Inequality Aversion in Social Dilemmas," Working Papers 09-02, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Mar 2009.
    2. Davidovich, Liema & Heilbrunn, Sibylle & Polovin, Avraham, 2009. "The Impact of Change in the Kibbutz on Risk- Taking of Entrepreneurs," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 37(2).
    3. Alexia Gaudeul, 2013. "Social preferences under uncertainty," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-024, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    4. Krawczyk, Michał, 2012. "Incentives and timing in relative performance judgments: A field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1240-1246.
    5. Mitesh Kataria & M. Levati & Matthias Uhl, 2014. "Paternalism with hindsight: do protégés react consequentialistically to paternalism?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(3), pages 731-746, October.
    6. Clark, Andrew E. & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2014. "Attitudes to Income Inequality: Experimental and Survey Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Takashi Oshio & Miki Kobayashi, 2011. "Area-Level Income Inequality and Individual Happiness: Evidence from Japan," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 633-649, August.
    8. Ingrid T. Rohde & Kirsten M. Rohde, 2015. "Managing social risks – tradeoffs between risks and inequalities," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 103-124, October.
    9. Margaret Meyer & Bruno Strulovici, 2013. "The Supermodular Stochastic Ordering," Economics Series Working Papers 655, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. Dietrich, Stephan & Malerba, Daniele & Barrientos, Armando & Gassmann, Franziska, 2017. "Rates of return to antipoverty transfers in Uganda," MERIT Working Papers 040, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    11. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Xavier Ramos, 2010. "Inequality Aversion and Risk Attitudes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 271, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    12. Astrid Gamba & Elena Manzoni & Luca Stanca, 2017. "Social comparison and risk taking behavior," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 82(2), pages 221-248, February.
    13. Brennan, Geoffrey & González, Luis G. & Güth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria, 2008. "Attitudes toward private and collective risk in individual and strategic choice situations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 253-262, July.
    14. Jukka Pirttilä & Roope Uusitalo, 2010. "A 'Leaky Bucket' in the Real World: Estimating Inequality Aversion using Survey Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 60-76, January.
    15. Eleonora Perversi & Eugenio Regazzini, 2015. "Inequality and risk aversion in economies open to altruistic attitudes," Papers 1507.00894,, revised May 2016.
    16. Traub, Stefan & Seidl, Christian & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2009. "An experimental study on individual choice, social welfare, and social preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 385-400, May.
    17. Ingrid Rohde & Kirsten Rohde, 2011. "Risk attitudes in a social context," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 205-225, December.
    18. Lin, Yu-Hsuan, 2017. "The Effect of Inequality Aversion on a Climate Coalition Formation: Theory and Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 84097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Ignacio Abásolo & Aki Tsuchiya, 2013. "Inequality and Risk Aversion in Health and Income: An Empirical Analysis Using Hypothetical Scenarios with Losses," Working Papers 2013005, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.

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