Direct Tests of Individual Preferences for Efficiency and Equity
12 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 2012
Departures from “economic man” behavior in many games in which fairness is a salient characteristic are now well documented in the experimental economics literature. These data have inspired the development of models of social preferences that assume agents have preferences for equity and efficiency as well as their own material payoffs. Empirical failure of the economic man model comes from experiments that provide direct tests of its distinguishing characteristic: indifference to the payoffs of others. This paper reports an experiment that subjects popular social preferences models to the same type of empirical challenge. We report direct tests of the distinguishing characteristics of these models: preference for allocations that have higher efficiency and greater equity.
JEL Classification: A12, A13, B49, C70, C91, D63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation