Equality-Efficiency Trade-off within French and German Couples – A Comparative Experimental Study
We present the results of an experiment measuring social preferences within couples in a context where intra-household pay-off inequality can be reduced at the cost of diminishing household income. We measure social norms regarding this efficiency-equality trade-off and implement a cross-country comparison between France and Germany. In particular, we show that German households are more inequality averse and are thus less efficient than French households. A decomposition of this difference reveals that approximately 40% is driven by diverging sample compositions in the two countries, while 60% of the initial French/German difference remains unexplained. Beliefs differ significantly from observed behavior in both countries. Efficient choices are overestimated in the German sample and underestimated in the French.
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