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Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments

  • Engelmann Dirk
  • Strobel Martin

    (MERIT)

We present simple one-shot distribution experiments comparing the relative im-portanceof efficiency, maximin preferences and inequality aversion, as well asthe relative performance of the fairness theories by Bolton and Ockenfels (2000)and Fehr and Schmidt (1999). While the Fehr and Schmidt model performsbetter in a direct comparison, this appears to be due to being in line with max-iminpreferences. More importantly, we find that the influence of both efficiencyand maximin preferences is stronger than that of inequality aversion. We discusspotential implications our results might have for the interpretation of otherexperiments.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series Research Memorandum with number 015.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamer:2002015
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  1. Blount, Sally, 1995. "When Social Outcomes Aren't Fair: The Effect of Causal Attributions on Preferences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 131-144, August.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  3. John Kagel & Katherine Wolfe, 2001. "Tests of Fairness Models Based on Equity Considerations in a Three-Person Ultimatum Game," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 203-219, December.
  4. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  5. Gary Bolton, 1998. "Bargaining and Dilemma Games: From Laboratory Data Towards Theoretical Synthesis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 257-281, December.
  6. Dufwenberg, M. & Kirchsteiger, G., 1998. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Discussion Paper 1998-37, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Kritikos, Alexander & Bolle, Friedel, 2001. "Distributional concerns: equity- or efficiency-oriented?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 333-338, December.
  8. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Gary Charness & Brit Grosskopf, 1999. "Relative payoffs and happiness: An experimental study," Economics Working Papers 436, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2000.
  10. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "Expressed Preferences and Behavior in Experimental Games," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt37p1s4rs, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  11. Ballinger, T Parker & Wilcox, Nathaniel T, 1997. "Decisions, Error and Heterogeneity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1090-1105, July.
  12. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  13. Gary E Bolton & Rami Zuwick, 2010. "Anonymity versus punishments in ultimatum bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 826, David K. Levine.
  14. James Andreoni, 2001. "Giving According to GARP," Theory workshop papers 339, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Engelmann Dirk & Strobel Martin, 2002. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  16. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  17. Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2001. "The Relevance of Equal Splits in Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-169, October.
  18. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  19. 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.
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