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Change versus choice: eliciting attitudes to fair compensations

Author

Listed:
  • John Bone

    (University of York)

  • Paolo Crosetto

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

  • John D. Hey

    (University of York)

  • Carmen Pasca

    (University of York)

Abstract

This paper reports an experiment designed to elicit social preferences over income compensation schemes, where income differences between subjects have two independent components: one due to chosen effort and the other due to random chance. These differences can be compensated through social dividends, according to principles chosen beforehand by subjects themselves from behind a stylised Rawlsian veil of ignorance, or outside the society on which the principles will be implemented. We test the attractiveness in particular of Luck Egalitarianism, compensating inequalities due to chance but not those due to choice. We find modest but not overwhelming support for these principles, suggesting that subjects' actual preferences are more complex.

Suggested Citation

  • John Bone & Paolo Crosetto & John D. Hey & Carmen Pasca, 2013. "Change versus choice: eliciting attitudes to fair compensations," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-029, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2013-029
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2010. "Is the veil of ignorance only a concept about risk? An experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1062-1066, December.
    2. John Hey & Carmen Pasca, 2011. "On choosing a constitution (at least the part relating to the distribution of income)," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(13), pages 1213-1217.
    3. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591.
    4. Magnus Johannesson & Ulf-G Gerdtham, 1995. "A pilot test of using the veil of ignorance approach to estimate a social welfare function for income," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(10), pages 400-402.
    5. Elisha A. Pazner & David Schmeidler, 1974. "A Difficulty in the Concept of Fairness," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 441-443.
    6. Antonio Cabrales & Raffaele Miniaci & Marco Piovesan & Giovanni Ponti, 2010. "Social Preferences and Strategic Uncertainty: An Experiment on Markets and Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2261-2278, December.
    7. F. Carlsson & G. Gupta & O. Johansson-Stenman, 2003. "Choosing from behind a veil of ignorance in India," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(13), pages 825-827.
    8. Sutter, Matthias & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 2003. "Taxation and the Veil of Ignorance--A Real Effort Experiment on the Laffer Curve," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 115(1-2), pages 217-240, April.
    9. Frignani, Nicola & Ponti, Giovanni, 2012. "Risk versus social preferences under the veil of ignorance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 143-146.
    10. Fredrik Andersson & Carl Hampus Lyttkens, 1999. "Preferences for equity in health behind a veil of ignorance," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(5), pages 369-378.
    11. Bukszar, Ed & Knetsch, Jack L, 1997. "Fragile Redistribution Choices behind a Veil of Ignorance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 63-74, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    chance; choice; envy-freeness; fairness; luck; luck egalitarianism; responsibility;

    JEL classification:

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

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