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Efficiency versus fairness: The evaluation of labor market policies by economists and laypeople

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  • Haferkamp, Alexandra
  • Fetchenhauer, Detlef
  • Belschak, Frank
  • Enste, Dominik

Abstract

The present study examines the criteria used by economic laypeople (NÂ =Â 380 German citizens) and economists (NÂ =Â 80 professors or postgraduates in economics) in judging reform measures as illustrated by policies of governmental labor market intervention policies. Results reveal substantial differences between economists and laypeople. Most laypersons favored labor market interventions and regarded them as both, efficient and fair. In contrast, most economists opposed labor market interventions and regarded them as both, inefficient and unfair. Using structural equation modelling we further show that the relative importance of efficiency and fairness differs between both groups. While economists base the acceptance of a certain reform measure mainly on its perceived efficiency, laypersons mainly focus on its perceived fairness. Theoretical and practical implications of our results are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Haferkamp, Alexandra & Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Belschak, Frank & Enste, Dominik, 2009. "Efficiency versus fairness: The evaluation of labor market policies by economists and laypeople," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 527-539, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:4:p:527-539
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hayo, Bernd & Neuenkirch, Matthias, 2015. "Central bank communication in the financial crisis: Evidence from a survey of financial market participants," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 166-181.
    2. Gangl, Katharina & Kastlunger, Barbara & Kirchler, Erich & Voracek, Martin, 2012. "Confidence in the economy in times of crisis: Social representations of experts and laypeople," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 603-614.
    3. Dominik H. Enste & Alexandra Haferkamp & Detlef Fetchenhauer, 2009. "Unterschiede im Denken zwischen Ökonomen und Laien - Erklärungsansätze zur Verbesserung der wirtschaftspolitischen Beratung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(1), pages 60-78, February.
    4. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    5. Amélie Goossens & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2010. "The impact of studying economics, and other disciplines, on the belief that voluntary exchange makes everyone better off," Working Papers CEB 10-012.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    7. Christandl, Fabian & Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Hoelzl, Erik, 2011. "Price perception and confirmation bias in the context of a VAT increase," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 131-141, February.
    8. Elisa Darriet & Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde, 2015. "Why lay social representations of the economy should count in economics," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 14(2), pages 245-258, November.
    9. Amélie Goossens & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2015. "The Belief that Market Transactions Are Mutually Beneficial: A Comparison of the Views of Students in Economics and Other Disciplines," Post-Print CEB 2013/162215, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. Lotz, Sebastian & Fix, Andrea R., 2013. "Not all financial speculation is treated equally: Laypeople’s moral judgments about speculative short selling," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 34-41.
    11. Haucap, Justus & Müller, Andrea, 2014. "Why are economists so different? Nature, nurture, and gender effects in a simple trust game," DICE Discussion Papers 136, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    12. Nguyen, Quynh, 2015. "“Mind the Gap”: Inequality Aversion and Mass Support for Protectionism," Papers 838, World Trade Institute.
    13. Jacob, Robert & Christandl, Fabian & Fetchenhauer, Detlef, 2011. "Economic experts or laypeople? How teachers and journalists judge trade and immigration policies," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 662-671.

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