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Appraising two-Dimensional Inequality: A Questionnaire-Experimental Approach


  • Benoît Tarroux

    (University of Rennes 1 - CREM, (UMR 6211 CNRS) & IDEP)


This paper aims to study the extent to which people's intuitions about the distribution of two attributes within a society are consistent with the different axiomatizations proposed by the economists. In particular, the objective is to compare two alternative principles, namely aversion to dispersion of attributes and aversion to correlation between attributes. By using a questionnaire approach, most people are found to be more averse to correlation rather than averse to dispersion.

Suggested Citation

  • Benoît Tarroux, 2012. "Appraising two-Dimensional Inequality: A Questionnaire-Experimental Approach," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201216, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  • Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201216

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Konow, 2009. "Is fairness in the eye of the beholder? An impartial spectator analysis of justice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 33(1), pages 101-127, June.
    2. Erik Schokkaert, 1999. "M. Tout-le-monde est "post-welfariste". Opinions sur la justice redistributive," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 50(4), pages 811-831.
    3. Yoram Amiel & Frank Cowell & Wulf Gaertner, 2012. "Distributional orderings: an approach with seven flavors," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 381-399, September.
    4. Ebert, Udo, 1997. "Social Welfare When Needs Differ: An Axiomatic Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 233-244, May.
    5. Nicolas Gravel & Patrick Moyes, 2006. "Ethically Robust Comparisons of Distributions of Two Individual Attributes," IDEP Working Papers 0605, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Aug 2006.
    6. Bleichrodt, Han & Rohde, Kirsten I.M. & Van Ourti, Tom, 2012. "An experimental test of the concentration index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 86-98.
    7. Tobin, James, 1970. "On Limiting the Domain of Inequality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 263-277, October.
    8. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
    9. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
    10. Amiel, Yoram & Cowell, Frank A., 1992. "Measurement of income inequality : Experimental test by questionnaire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-26, February.
    11. Marc Fleurbaey & Alain Trannoy, 2003. "The impossibility of a Paretian egalitarian," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(2), pages 243-263, October.
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    More about this item


    Multidimensional Inequality ; Axiomatizations ; Questionnaire - Experimental;

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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