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What Is Fair? Experimental Evidence

  • David L. Dickinson


    (Department of Economics, Utah State University)

  • Jill Tiefenthaler


    (Colgate University)

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.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 69 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 414-428

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:69:2:y:2002:p:414-428
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