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Allocating an indivisible good. A questionnaire-experimental study of intercultural differences


  • Erik Schokkaert
  • Kurt Devooght
  • Bart Capeau
  • Sara Lelli


We present the results of a questionnaire study in Belgium, Burkina Faso and Indonesia focusing on the problem of the just allocation of an indivisible good. The formal axioms proposed in social choice theory are helpful in structuring the response patterns. Interindividual differences can be interpreted in a meaningful way in terms of basic intuitions about desert, efficiency and compensation. Belgian students are most resourceegalitarian, Burkinese students attach a large weight to innate capacities, Indonesian students focus on actual production. The crucial no-envy criterion is supported by a majority of respondents, but this majority becomes small if there is an unavoidable conflict between no-envy and the "responsibility" requirement of the stand-alone upper bound.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Schokkaert & Kurt Devooght & Bart Capeau & Sara Lelli, 2007. "Allocating an indivisible good. A questionnaire-experimental study of intercultural differences," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0716, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0716

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    1. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
    2. Maarten Pieter Schinkel & Jan Tuinstra & Jakob Rüggeberg, 2008. "Illinois Walls: how barring indirect purchaser suits facilitates collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 683-698.
    3. Johan Stennek & Frank Verboven, 2006. "Merger Control and Enterprise Competitiveness: Empirical Analysis and Policy Recommendations," Chapters,in: European Merger Control, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1994. "The Effects of Mergers in Differentiated Products Industries: Logit Demand and Merger Policy," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 407-426, October.
    5. Martin Hellwig, 2006. "Private Damage Claims and the Passing-On Defense in Horizontal Price-Fixing Cases: An Economist’s Perspective," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2006_22, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    6. Connor, John M., 2005. "Price-Fixing Overcharges: Legal And Economic Evidence," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19254, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. repec:hhs:iuiwop:556 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, January.
    9. Corts, Kenneth S., 1998. "Conduct parameters and the measurement of market power," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 227-250, November.
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    More about this item


    distributive justice; indivisible good; no envy criterion; intercultural differences;

    JEL classification:

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

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