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

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  • BOSMANS, Kristof
  • SCHOKKAERT, Erik

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • BOSMANS, Kristof & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2009. "Equality preference in the claims problem: a questionnaire study of cuts in earnings and pensions," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2166, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2166
    Note: In : Social Choice and Welfare, 33, 533-557, 2009
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00355-009-0378-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ansink, Erik, 2011. "The Arctic scramble: Introducing claims in a contest model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 693-707.
    2. Carmen Herrero & Juan Moreno-Ternero & Giovanni Ponti, 2010. "On the adjudication of conflicting claims: an experimental study," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 34(1), pages 145-179, January.
    3. Corazzini, Luca & Esposito, Lucio & Majorano, Francesca, 2012. "Reign in hell or serve in heaven? A cross-country journey into the relative vs absolute perceptions of wellbeing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 715-730.
    4. repec:spr:series:v:8:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s13209-016-0151-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jeremiah Hurley & Neil Buckley & Katherine Cuff & Mita Giacomini & David Cameron, 2011. "Judgments regarding the fair division of goods: the impact of verbal versus quantitative descriptions of alternative divisions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 37(2), pages 341-372, July.
    6. Yoram Amiel & Michele Bernasconi & Frank Cowell & Valentino Dardanoni, 2015. "Do we value mobility?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(2), pages 231-255, February.
    7. Thomson, William, 2015. "Axiomatic and game-theoretic analysis of bankruptcy and taxation problems: An update," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 41-59.
    8. Kristof Bosmans & Luc Lauwers, 2011. "Lorenz comparisons of nine rules for the adjudication of conflicting claims," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 40(4), pages 791-807, November.
    9. Tausch, Franziska & Potters, Jan & Riedl, Arno, 2013. "Preferences for redistribution and pensions. What can we learn from experiments?," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 298-325, July.
    10. Giménez Gómez, José M. (José Manuel) & Blanco Gil, Carmen & Sánchez García, Juan Francisco, 2016. "New insights on empirical conflicting claims problems," Working Papers 2072/261530, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    11. Erik Ansink & Carmen Marchiori, 2015. "Reallocating Water: An Application of Sequential Sharing Rules to Cyprus," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(04), pages 1-22, December.
    12. Benoît Tarroux, 2017. "The value of progressivity: Evidence from survey experiments," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2017-13, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    13. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Luttens, Roland I. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2015. "Fairness in bankruptcy situations: an experimental study," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 17/2015, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    14. Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rilke, Rainer Michael & Walkowitz, Gari, 2013. "Self-Serving Use of Equity Rules in Bargaining with Asymmetric Outside Options," IZA Discussion Papers 7625, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Wulf Gaertner & Lars Schwettmann, 2017. "Burden sharing in deficit countries: a questionnaire-experimental investigation," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 113-144, June.
    16. Corazzini, Luca & Esposito, Lucio & Majorano, Francesca, 2011. "Exploring the absolutist vs relativist perception of poverty using a cross-country questionnaire survey," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 273-283, March.
    17. Wulf Gaertner & Lars Schwettmann & Yongsheng Xu, 2017. "An Experimental Game of Loss Sharing," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2017-01, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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