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How not to extend models of inequality aversion

  • Engelmann, Dirk

Several authors have made attempts to improve the explanatory power of models of inequality aversion, in particular the one by Fehr and Schmidt (1999), by adding concerns for total surplus or efficiency. In this note, I point out that these attempts are misguided because they are equivalent to a much simpler change, not requiring an additional parameter, unless we simultaneously consider games with different numbers of players. In the latter case, however, such an approach yields implausible predictions.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111002113
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 81 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 599-605

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:2:p:599-605
DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.08.007
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. 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.
  2. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2008. "Revealed Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 31-69, 01.
  5. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2010. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," DICE Discussion Papers 06, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE), University of Düsseldorf.
  6. 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.
  7. Ellison Brenna & Lusk Jayson L & Briggeman Brian, 2010. "Other-Regarding Behavior and Taxpayer Preferences for Farm Policy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-29, October.
  8. Kritikos, Alexander & Bolle, Friedel, 2001. "Distributional concerns: equity- or efficiency-oriented?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 333-338, December.
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