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Rich Meets Poor - an International Fairness Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Alexander W. Cappelen
  • Karl Ove Moene
  • Erik Ø. Sørensen
  • Bertil Tungodden

Abstract

Why do people in rich countries not transfer more of their income to people in the world's poorest countries? To study this question and the relative importance of needs, entitlements, and nationality in people's social preferences, we conducted a real effort fairness experiment where people in two of the world's richest countries, Norway and Germany, interacted directly with people in Uganda and Tanzania, two of the world's poorest countries. In this experiment, the participants were given the opportunity to transfer money to poor persons with whom they were matched. The study provides four main findings. First, entitlement considerations are crucial in explaining the distributive behavior of rich people in the experiment; second, needs considerations matter a lot for some participants; third, the participants acted as moral cosmopolitans; and finally, the participants' choices are consistent with a self-serving bias in their social preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander W. Cappelen & Karl Ove Moene & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2008. "Rich Meets Poor - an International Fairness Experiment," CMI Working Papers 10, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2008-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    2. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591.
    3. Christopher Ferrall, 2005. "Solving Finite Mixture Models: Efficient Computation in Economics Under Serial and Parallel Execution," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 343-379, June.
    4. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Luis M. Miller, 2008. "Moral distance in dictator games," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 344-354, April.
    5. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Franzen, Axel & Pointner, Sonja, 2012. "Anonymity in the dictator game revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 74-81.
    2. Ismael Rodriguez-Lara & Luis Moreno-Garrido, 2012. "Modeling Inequity Aversion in a Dictator Game with Production," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 1-12, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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