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The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach

  • Alexander W. Cappelen
  • Astri D. Hole
  • Erik Ø. Sørensen
  • Bertil Tungodden

A core question in the contemporary debate on distributive justice is how the fair distribution of income is affected by differences in talent and effort. Important theories of distributive justice, such as strict egalitarianism, liberal egalitarianism and libertarianism, all give different answers to this question. This paper presents the results from a version of the dictator game where the distribution phase is preceded by a production phase. Each player’s contribution is a result of an exogenously given talent and a chosen effort. We estimate simultaneously the prevalence of three main principles of distributive justice among the players as well as the distribution of weights they attach to fairness considerations.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1611.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1611
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  1. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. James Andreoni & Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2005. "Revealing Preferences for Fairness in Ultimatum Bargaining," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000807, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. James Konow, 2001. "A Positive Theory of Economic Fairness," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000138, David K. Levine.
  4. Ernst R. Berndt & Bronwyn H. Hall & Robert E. Hall & Jerry A. Hausman, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 653-665 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Bellemare, C. & Kroger, S. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2005. "Actions and Beliefs : Estimating Distribution-Based Preferences Using a Large Scale Experiment with Probability Questions on Expectations," Discussion Paper 2005-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Christopher Ferrall, 2005. "Solving Finite Mixture Models: Efficient Computation in Economics Under Serial and Parallel Execution," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 343-379, June.
  8. David Revelt & Kenneth Train, 1998. "Mixed Logit With Repeated Choices: Households' Choices Of Appliance Efficiency Level," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 647-657, November.
  9. Bruno Frey & Stephan Meier, 2005. "Selfish and Indoctrinated Economists?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 165-171, April.
  10. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  11. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
  12. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
  13. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:3:p:817-869 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Norman Frohlich & Joe Oppenheimer & Anja Kurki, 2004. "Modeling Other-Regarding Preferences and an Experimental Test," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 91-117, 04.
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