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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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    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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