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Selfishness and Altruism in the Distribution of Travel Time and Income

Author

Listed:
  • Nebiyou Tilahun
  • David Levinson

    () (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

Most economic models assume that individuals act out their preferences based on their own self interest. However there have also been other paradigms in the economics literature that have tried to capture alternative manifestations of human behavior that include fairness. This study examines people's preferences when it comes to their travel time and their income and what type of trade offs they are willing to make to live in a society where the distributions of travel time and income are fairer. Using a stated preference experiment we find that when it comes to travel time, individuals are more concerned with societal average travel time, followed by their own travel time and finally by large inequalities in the society, while in the case of income they are more concerned with their own income, followed by societal average and finally by inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Nebiyou Tilahun & David Levinson, 2006. "Selfishness and Altruism in the Distribution of Travel Time and Income," Working Papers 000023, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:selfishness
    as

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11299/180036
    File Function: Second version, 2013
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
    2. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 285-300, October.
    3. Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2005. "Are People Inequality-Averse, or Just Risk-Averse?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(3), pages 375-396, August.
    4. Marchetti, Antonella & Castelli, Ilaria & Harlé, Katia M. & Sanfey, Alan G., 2011. "Expectations and outcome: The role of Proposer features in the Ultimatum Game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 446-449, June.
    5. DeSerpa, A C, 1971. "A Theory of the Economics of Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 81(324), pages 828-846, December.
    6. Louviere,Jordan J. & Hensher,David A. & Swait,Joffre D. With contributions by-Name:Adamowicz,Wiktor, 2000. "Stated Choice Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521788304, March.
    7. Andrew Daly & Stephane Hess & Kenneth Train, 2012. "Assuring finite moments for willingness to pay in random coefficient models," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 19-31, January.
    8. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2005. "Balancing Efficiency and Equity of Ramp Meters," Working Papers 200508, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    9. Nebiyou Tilahun & David Levinson, 2006. "A Moment of Time: Reliability in Route Choice using Stated Preference," Working Papers 201004, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
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    11. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    12. Evans, Alan W, 1972. "On the Theory of the Valuation and Allocation of Time," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 19(1), pages 1-17, February.
    13. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
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    15. Elster, Jon, 2006. "Altruistic Behavior and Altruistic Motivations," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fairness; Inequality; Travel Time; Income; Altruism; Stated Preference; Veil of ignorance; Equity; Time equity; Income Equity; Time distribution; Income Distribution.;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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