Are Self-Made Men Made Equally? An Experimental Test of Impartial Redistribution and Perceptions of Self-Determination

44 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2014  

David Chavanne

Connecticut College - Economics Department

Kevin A. McCabe

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Maria Pia Paganelli

Trinity University

Date Written: June 11, 2014

Abstract

The experiment presented here provides evidence that, in the presence of first possession and inequality, the degree to which a third-party re-distributor honors preexisting entitlements is bounded. Using a third-party redistributive task, the design examines how impartial decision makers redistribute the income of an advantaged stakeholder to a disadvantaged stakeholder. The results show that redistribution significantly decreases when entitlements to income are legitimized either by having an endowed stakeholder earn the right to his advantageous position or by having him earn his income. When both rights and income are earned, however, redistribution does not decrease further.

Keywords: distributive justice, redistribution, redistributive preferences, impartiality, other people's money, entitlements

Suggested Citation

Chavanne, David and McCabe, Kevin A. and Paganelli, Maria Pia, Are Self-Made Men Made Equally? An Experimental Test of Impartial Redistribution and Perceptions of Self-Determination (June 11, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1534934 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1534934

David Chavanne (Contact Author)

Connecticut College - Economics Department ( email )

New London, CT 06320
United States

Kevin A. McCabe

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Maria Pia Paganelli

Trinity University ( email )

Dept. of Economics
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
United States

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