To be or not to be involved: a questionnaire-experimental view on Harsanyi's utilitarian ethics
According to standard theory founded on Harsanyi (1953, 1955) a social welfare function can be appropriately based on the individualâ€™s approach to choice under uncertainty. We investigate whether people really do rank distributions according to the same principles irrespective of whether the comparison involves money payoffs in a risky situation or the distribution of income among persons. We use a questionnaire experiment to focus on the two different interpretations of the Harsanyi approach. There are important, systematic differences that transcend the cultural background of respondents.
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