The Role of Equality, Efficiency, and Rawlsian Motives in Social Preferences: A Reply to Engelmann and Strobel
In a recent paper Engelmann and Strobl claim that a combination of a preference for efficiency and a Rawlsian motive for helping the least well-off is far more important than inequity aversion. Here we show that the relevance of the efficiency motive is largely restricted to students of economics and business administration. Students from other disciplines, adult academics from various disciplines and senior citizens value equality much higher than efficiency. Moreover, there is rather strong evidence that the relevance of the efficiency motive and the Rawlsian motive is largely restricted to non-strategic interactions.
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- Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2006. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1918-1923, December.