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Individual Determinants of Social Fairness Assessments - The Case of Germany

34 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2008  

Ivo Bischoff

University of Kassel

Friedrich Heinemann

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW); University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics

Tanja Hennighausen

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2008

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.

Keywords: fairness preferences, economic beliefs, ALLBUS

JEL Classification: D63, C42, A13

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1266091 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1266091

Ivo Bischoff

University of Kassel ( email )

Fachbereich 07
Nora-Platiel-Stra├če 4-6
34109 Kassel, 34109
Germany

Friedrich Heinemann (Contact Author)

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.zew.de

University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics ( email )

Grabengasse 14
Heidelberg, D-69117
Germany

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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