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Social context and fairness perceptions: The role of status

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Abstract

This study investigates how induced relative status affects fairness perceptions measured by satisfaction from different relative payoffs. We find that participants with lower status are less dissatisfied with disadvantageous payoff inequalities than equal or higher status participants. In contrast, when receiving an advantageous payoff, status does not influence satisfaction. Our findings suggest that relative social status has important implications for the acceptance of income inequalities.

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  • Albrecht, Konstanze & von Essen, Emma & Falk, Armin & Fliessbach, Klaus & Ranehill, Eva, 2012. "Social context and fairness perceptions: The role of status," Research Papers in Economics 2012:10, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2012_0010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 293-315.
    3. Hong, Kessely & Bohnet, Iris, 2007. "Status and distrust: The relevance of inequality and betrayal aversion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 197-213, April.
    4. David Eil & Justin M. Rao, 2011. "The Good News-Bad News Effect: Asymmetric Processing of Objective Information about Yourself," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 114-138, May.
    5. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & van der Laan, Gerard & Talman, Dolf, 2007. "The socially stable core in structured transferable utility games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 85-104.
    7. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status in Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188.
    8. Simon Gächter & Arno Riedl, 2006. "Dividing Justly in Bargaining Problems with Claims," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(3), pages 571-594, December.
    9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    status; fairness perceptions; satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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