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Individual Determinants of Social Fairness Assessments - The Case of Germany


Ivo Bischoff


University of Kassel

Friedrich Heinemann


Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)

Tanja Hennighausen


University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

2008

ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 08-063

Abstract:     
In this contribution we study the determinants of how individuals assess the social fairness of a given income distribution. We propose an analytical framework distinguishing between potential impact factors related to the following fields: first fairness preferences, second beliefs on the sources of economic success and the functioning of democracy and third self interest. We test this framework on representative survey data for Germany for the years 1991, 2000 and 2004. Our results indicate that self-interest, beliefs and fairness preferences jointly shape fairness assessments. In addition, a number of personal characteristics are found to be important: Compared to their western fellow citizens, people born in GDR have a more critical view at social fairness. A particularly strong impact is related to the belief on the functioning of the democratic system. This points an important role of procedural fairness for the acceptance of a given distribution.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: fairness preferences, economic beliefs, ALLBUS

JEL Classification: D63, C42, A13

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Date posted: September 11, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Bischoff, Ivo and Heinemann, Friedrich and Hennighausen, Tanja, Individual Determinants of Social Fairness Assessments - The Case of Germany (2008). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 08-063. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1266091 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1266091

Contact Information

Ivo Bischoff
University of Kassel ( email )
Fachbereich 07
Nora-Platiel-Straße 4-6
34109 Kassel, 34109
Germany
Friedrich Heinemann (Contact Author)
Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )
L 7,1
Mannheim, 68161
Germany
HOME PAGE: http://www.zew.de
Tanja Hennighausen
University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )
L 7, 3-5
D-68131 Mannheim
Germany
+49 6211811818 (Phone)
+49 6211811814 (Fax)
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