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What Is Fair? Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • David L. Dickinson

    () (Department of Economics, Utah State University)

  • Jill Tiefenthaler

    () (Colgate University)

Abstract

There has been growing interest within the economics discipline in the role of equity concerns in the distribution of resources. This paper presents empirical evidence from controlled laboratory experiments where third-party decision makers allocate resources between two individuals. The experimental results indicate that subjects view a wide range of different allocations as the fair distribution of resources. However, regression analysis indicates that both treatment effects and a few demographic variables explain some of this variation in fairness concepts. Most significantly, decision makers rewarded subjects who earned their favorable positions, and the gender of the decision maker was an important predictor of the allocation chosen.

Suggested Citation

  • David L. Dickinson & Jill Tiefenthaler, 2002. "What Is Fair? Experimental Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 414-428, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:69:2:y:2002:p:414-428
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Joo Young Jeon, 2013. "Altruism, Anticipation, and Gender," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 13-06, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    2. Marco Kleine & Pascal Langenbach & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2014. "Fairness and Persuasion. How Stakeholder Communication Affects Impartial Decision Making," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2014_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    3. Becchetti, Leonardo & Degli Antoni, Giacomo & Ottone, Stefania & Solferino, Nazaria, 2013. "Allocation criteria under task performance: The gendered preference for protection," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 96-111.
    4. Cettolin, E. & Riedl, A.M., 2013. "Justice under uncertainty," Research Memorandum 036, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    5. Lena Epp & Nastassia Leszczynska, 2017. "Fairness Concerns and Corrupt Decisions :an Experimental Approach," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-21, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Binglin Gong & Huibin Yan & Chun-Lei Yang, 2015. "Gender differences in the dictator experiment: evidence from the matrilineal Mosuo and the patriarchal Yi," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(2), pages 302-313, June.
    7. Ranehill, Eva & Weber, Roberto A., 2017. "Do Gender Preference Gaps Impact Policy Outcomes?," Working Papers in Economics 713, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. Tausch, Franziska & Potters, Jan & Riedl, Arno, 2013. "Preferences for redistribution and pensions. What can we learn from experiments?," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 298-325, July.
    10. Lynn, Michael & Jabbour, Patrick & Kim, Woo Gon, 2012. "Who uses tips as a reward for service and when? An examination of potential moderators of the service–tipping relationship," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 90-103.
    11. Ismael Rodriguez-Lara, 2015. "An experimental study of gender differences in distributive justice," Cuadernos de Economía - Spanish Journal of Economics and Finance, ELSEVIER, vol. 38(106), pages 27-36, Abril.
    12. David L. Dickinson, 2002. "A Bargaining Experiment to Motivate Discussion on Fairness," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 136-151, June.
    13. van Rijn, Jordan & Quinones, Esteban J. & Barham, Bradford L., 2017. "An Experimental Test of Gender Differences in Charitable Giving: Empathy Is at the Heart of the Matter," Staff Paper Series 586, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    14. Daniel M�ller & Sander Renes, 2017. "Fairness views and political preferences - Evidence from a large online experiment," Working Papers 2017-10, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    15. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    16. Marcus Dittrich & Andreas Knabe & Kristina Leipold, 2014. "Gender Differences In Experimental Wage Negotiations," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 862-873, April.
    17. David Chavanne & Kevin A. McCabe & Maria Pia Paganelli, 2015. "Are Self-Made Men Made Equally? An Experimental Test of Impartial Redistribution and Perceptions of Self-Determination," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 40, pages 1-3.
    18. Gregory E. Kersten & Tomasz Wachowicz & Margaret Kersten, 2016. "Competition, Transparency, and Reciprocity: A Comparative Study of Auctions and Negotiations," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 693-722, July.
    19. Kamas, Linda & Preston, Anne, 2015. "Can social preferences explain gender differences in economic behavior?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 525-539.
    20. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Mani, Subha, 2015. "Only Mine or All Ours: Do Stronger Entitlements Affect Altruistic Choices in the Household," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 363-375.
    21. Robert Shelburne, 2006. "A Utilitarian Welfare Analysis of Trade Liberalization," ECE Discussion Papers Series 2006_4, UNECE.
    22. repec:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:3:p:381-401 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. David Masclet & Emmanuel Peterle & Sophie Larribeau, 2012. "Gender Differences in Competitive and Non Competitive Environments: An Experimental Evidence," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201236, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    24. Alewell, Dorothea & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2009. "Wage differentials and social comparison: An experimental study of interrelated ultimatum bargaining," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 210-220, September.
    25. Rigdon, Mary L. & Levine, Adam Seth, 2009. "The Role of Expectations and Gender in Altruism," MPRA Paper 19372, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General

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