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Equality preference in the claims problem: a questionnaire study of cuts in earnings and pensions

  • Kristof Bosmans

    ()

  • Erik Schokkaert

    ()

Many distributional conflicts are characterized by the presence of acquired rights. The basic structure of these conflicts is that of the so-called claims problem, in which an amount of money has to be divided among individuals with differing claims and the total amount available falls short of the sum of the claims. We describe the results of a questionnaire in which Belgian and German students were confronted with nine claims problems. In the "Firm" version, respondents had to divide revenue among the owners of a firm who contribute to the activities of the firm in different degrees. In the "Pensions" version, they had to divide tax money among pensioners who have paid different contributions during their active career. Responses in the Pensions version were more egalitarian than in the Firm version. For both versions, the proportional rule performs very well in describing the choices of the respondents. Other prominent rules in particular the constrained equal awards and constrained equal losses rules fail to capture some basic intuitions. A substantial part of the respondents tend to become more progressive as the amount to be distributed decreases other things equal, and tend to become more progressive as the inequality in the distribution of claims becomes more unequal other things equal. All of these conclusions are robust with respect to the difference in home-country of the respondents.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 533-557

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:33:y:2009:i:4:p:533-557
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  1. Carmen Herrero & Juan Moreno-Ternero & Giovanni Ponti, 2010. "On the adjudication of conflicting claims: an experimental study," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 145-179, January.
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  3. Moreno-Ternero, Juan D. & Villar, Antonio, 2004. "The Talmud rule and the securement of agents' awards," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 245-257, March.
  4. Aumann, Robert J. & Maschler, Michael, 1985. "Game theoretic analysis of a bankruptcy problem from the Talmud," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 195-213, August.
  5. Moulin, Herve, 2002. "Axiomatic cost and surplus sharing," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 289-357 Elsevier.
  6. Diego Dominguez & William Thomson, 2004. "A New Solution to the Problem of Adjudicating Conflicting Claims," RCER Working Papers 511, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Juan D. Moreno-Ternero & Antonio Villar, 2006. "On the Relative Equitability of a Family of Taxation Rules," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(2), pages 283-291, 05.
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  11. Kristof Bosmans & Luc Lauwers, 2011. "Lorenz comparisons of nine rules for the adjudication of conflicting claims," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 791-807, November.
  12. Erik Schokkaert, 1999. "M. Tout-le-monde est "post-welfariste". Opinions sur la justice redistributive," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 50(4), pages 811-831.
  13. Chun, Youngsub & Thomson, William, 2005. "Convergence under replication of rules to adjudicate conflicting claims," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 129-142, February.
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