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Just luck: an experimental study of risk taking and fairness

  • Cappelen, Alexander W
  • Konow, James
  • Sorensen, Erik O
  • Tungodden, Bertil

Choices involving risk significantly affect the distribution of income and wealth in society. This paper reports the results of the first experiment, to our knowledge, to study fairness views about risk-taking, specifically whether such views are based chiefly on ex ante opportunities or on ex post outcomes. We find that, even though many participants focus exclusively on ex ante opportunities, most favor some redistribution ex post. Many participants also make a distinction between ex post inequalities that reflect differences in luck and ex post inequalities that reflect differences in choices. These findings apply to both stakeholders and impartial spectators.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/24475/1/MPRA_paper_24475.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24475.

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Date of creation: 10 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24475
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  1. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Daniel John Zizzo, 2003. "Inequality and Procedural Fairness in a Money Burning and Stealing Experiment," Economics Series Working Papers 155, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2006. "A Liberal Egalitarian Paradox," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(03), pages 393-408, November.
  4. Daniel J. Zizzo & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Are People Willing to Pay to Reduce Others'Incomes?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 63-64, pages 39-65.
  5. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  6. Marc Fleurbaey, 2009. "Assessing risky social situations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27006, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Silvester Van Koten & Andreas Ortmann & Vitezslav Babicky, 2013. "Fairness in Risky Environments: Theory and Evidence," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(2), pages 208, May.
  9. Andrews, Donald W K, 2001. "Testing When a Parameter Is on the Boundary of the Maintained Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 683-734, May.
  10. 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.
  11. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
  12. Christopher Ferrall, 2005. "Solving Finite Mixture Models: Efficient Computation in Economics Under Serial and Parallel Execution," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 343-379, June.
  13. Konow, James, 2006. "Is Fairness in the Eye of the Beholder? An Impartial Spectator Analysis of Justice," MPRA Paper 2730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Brennan, Geoffrey & González, Luis G. & Güth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria, 2008. "Attitudes toward private and collective risk in individual and strategic choice situations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 253-262, July.
  15. Alexander Cappelen & Astri Hole & Erik Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2011. "The importance of moral reflection and self-reported data in a dictator game with production," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(1), pages 105-120, January.
  16. Alon Harel & Zvi Safra & Uzi Segal, 2003. "Ex-Post Egalitarianism," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 563, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  19. James Konow & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Kenju Akai, 2008. "Morals and Mores? Experimental Evidence on Equity and Equality from the US and Japan," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002055, David K. Levine.
  20. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
  21. Jason F. Shogren, 1990. "Experiment on Coasian Bargaining over Ex Ante Lotteries and Ex Post Rewards, An," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 90-wp63, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  22. Hammond, Peter J, 1981. "Ex-ante and Ex-post Welfare Optimality under Uncertainty," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(191), pages 235-50, August.
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  24. Ernst R. Berndt & Bronwyn H. Hall & Robert E. Hall & Jerry A. Hausman, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 653-665 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Krawczyk, Michal, 2010. "A glimpse through the veil of ignorance: Equality of opportunity and support for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 131-141, February.
  26. Zizzo, Daniel John, 2003. "Money burning and rank egalitarianism with random dictators," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 263-266, November.
  27. Brice Magdalou & Dimitri Dubois & Phu Nguyen-Van, 2009. "Risk and Inequality Aversion in Social Dilemmas," Working Papers 09, Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), Vietnam, revised Feb 2009.
  28. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
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