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Thresholds, productivity, and context: an experimental study on determinants of distributive behaviour

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  • Marlies Ahlert
  • Katja Funke
  • Lars Schwettmann

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Abstract

In our questionnaire experiment we confronted students of economics, law and medicine with distributive situations in different contexts characterised by two features inspired by medical decision problems: First, individual threshold values indicate minimal amounts needed by potential recipients of the given resource to obtain positive benefits. Second, recipients differ with respect to their ability to benefit from the given quantity, which indicates the productivity of the resource. Allocations offered in the questionnaire are theoretically grounded. However, respondents were also able to make their own proposals. Well-known allocation rules, but also new procedures, were witnessed. Two multistage principles were most prominent: After distributing all minimal amounts, in a second step one aims for resource-equality while the other principle in the second step demands the maximisation of the sum of payoffs. Besides threshold values and productivity, the acceptance of different principles also depended on the field of study, the degree of scarcity of the resources and the sequential order of situations. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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  • Marlies Ahlert & Katja Funke & Lars Schwettmann, 2013. "Thresholds, productivity, and context: an experimental study on determinants of distributive behaviour," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(4), pages 957-984, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:40:y:2013:i:4:p:957-984 DOI: 10.1007/s00355-012-0652-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Wiesen, Daniel, 2014. "Other-regarding behavior and motivation in health care provision: An experiment with medical and non-medical students," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 156-165.
    2. repec:spr:sochwe:v:49:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1053-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marlies Ahlert & Christian Pfarr, 2016. "Attitudes of Germans towards distributive issues in the German health system," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(4), pages 471-496, May.

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