Entitlements And Fairness: An Experimental Study Of Distributive Preferences
E. Elisabet Rutström
University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business
Melonie B. Williams
Government of the United States of America - Western Ecology Division
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Vol. 43, No. 1, September 1, 2000
Under three different rules for allocation of initial income we elicit experimental subjects' preferences for income redistribution using an incentive compatible elicitation mechanism. The three income allocation rules are designed to capture preferences for distributive justice among subjects. The concern is motivated by claims in some of the experimental economics literature that non-self-interested motives often underlie individual behavior. We cannot reject self-interest in favor of any redistribution motives based on our observations. Almost all individuals chose the income distribution which maximized their own income ---high income individuals chose no redistribution and low income individuals chose perfect equality in income distribution.
Keyword(s): Equity; Distribution; Justice; Fairness; Experiments
JEL Classification: D3, D63Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 22, 2001
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