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Choices in Egalitarian Distribution: Inequality Aversion versus Risk Aversion

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  • Leima Davidovitz
  • Yoram Kroll

Abstract

Inequality aversion and risk aversion are widely assumed features of economic models. But a review of the literature revealed that inequlity aversion and risk aversion are treated as separate variables. This paper presents exploratory research designed to separate inequality aversion from risk aversion. In a set of laboratory experiments, subjects chose between two alternatives with the same individuals risk, but different levels of egalitarianism. Thus, the choice of the more egalitarian alternative with constant risk level implies a higher level of inequality aversion. The experiment was conducted among 211 eight-year-old children, 107 of whom live on Kibbutz and 104 in the city. We found not significant difference between Kibbutz children and city children in inequality aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Leima Davidovitz & Yoram Kroll, 1999. "Choices in Egalitarian Distribution: Inequality Aversion versus Risk Aversion," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 43, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stidar:43
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    File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/darp/darp43.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amiel,Yoram & Cowell,Frank, 1999. "Thinking about Inequality," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521466967, March.
    2. Amiel, Yoram & Cowell, Frank A., 1992. "Measurement of income inequality : Experimental test by questionnaire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-26, February.
    3. G. Hanoch & H. Levy, 1969. "The Efficiency Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 335-346.
    4. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Internal Consistency of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 495-521, May.
    5. Kroll, Yoram & Levy, Haim & Rapoport, Amnon, 1988. "Experimental Tests of the Separation Theorem and the Capital Asset Pricing Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 500-519, June.
    6. Baigent, Nick & Gaertner, Wulf, 1996. "Never Choose the Uniquely Largest: A Characterization," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 239-249, August.
    7. Kachelmeier, Steven J & Shehata, Mohamed, 1992. "Examining Risk Preferences under High Monetary Incentives: Experimental Evidence from the People's Republic of China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1120-1141, December.
    8. Michael Rothschild & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1969. "Increasing Risk: A Definition and Its Economic Consequences," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 275, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yoram Amiel & Frank Cowell & Liema Davidovitz & Avraham Polovin, 2008. "Preference reversals and the analysis of income distributions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(2), pages 305-330, February.
    2. Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2005. "Are People Inequality-Averse, or Just Risk-Averse?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(3), pages 375-396, August.
    3. Cowell, Frank A. & Schokkaert, Erik, 2001. "Risk perceptions and distributional judgments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 941-952, May.

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    Keywords

    Inequality; income distribution; risk; experiments;

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