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Luck, Choice and Responsibility: An Experimental Study of Fairness Views

Author

Listed:
  • Möllerström, Johanna

    (Harvard University)

  • Reme, Bjørn-Atle

    (Telenor Research, Oslo)

  • Sørensen, Eric Ø.

    (NHH Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen)

Abstract

We conduct a laboratory experiment where third-party spectators can redistribute resources between two agents, thereby offsetting the consequences of controllable and uncontrollable luck. Some spectators go to the limits and equalize all or no inequalities, but many follow an interior allocation rule previously unaccounted for by the fairness views in the literature. These interior allocators regard an agent’s choice as more important than the cause of her low income and do not always compensate bad uncontrollable luck. Instead, they condition such compensation on the agent’s decision regarding controllable luck exposure, even though the two types of luck are independent.

Suggested Citation

  • Möllerström, Johanna & Reme, Bjørn-Atle & Sørensen, Eric Ø., 2014. "Luck, Choice and Responsibility: An Experimental Study of Fairness Views," Working Paper Series 1014, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fairness; Responsibility; Option luck; Brute luck; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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