Are Elites Really Less Fair-Minded?

12 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021

See all articles by Ben Depoorter

Ben Depoorter

UC Hastings Law; Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society; Ugent - CASLE

Philip Grech

ETH Zürich

Jessica Halten

Yale School of Management

Sven Hoeppner

Ghent University

Barbara Ikica

University of Zurich

Simon Jantschgi

University of Zurich

Heinrich H. Nax

ETH Zürich; University of Zurich

Jonathan Newton

Kyoto University - Institute of Economic Research

Bary Pradelski

CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes

Adrian Soos

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stefan Wehrli

ETH Zurich

Date Written: May 1, 2020

Abstract

US power ‘elites’ are substantially less fair-minded than ‘non-elite’ general populations claims a study by Ray Fisman and coauthors [Science 349, 6254 (2015)]. This supposedly explains why US governments, run by people less fair than the citizens they represent, have been uninclined to tackle inequality. We critically replicated the study, because different experimental protocols for ‘elites’ (interactive variants) and ‘non-elites’ (standard dictator games) were used to measure preferences. We find that the protocol potpourri drove the conclusion: under standard protocols, we find no significant class differences, if any opposite ones. Our work highlights the risk of producing false positives when ex post results appear invitingly plausible.

Keywords: Class differences, Confounds, Critical replication

JEL Classification: C90

Suggested Citation

Depoorter, Ben and Grech, Philip and Halten, Jessica and Hoeppner, Sven and Ikica, Barbara and Jantschgi, Simon and Nax, Heinrich H. and Newton, Jonathan and Pradelski, Bary and Soos, Adrian and Wehrli, Stefan, Are Elites Really Less Fair-Minded? (May 1, 2020). UC Hastings Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3766728 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3766728

Ben Depoorter

UC Hastings Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Ugent - CASLE ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Belgium

Philip Grech

ETH Zürich ( email )

Weinbergstrasse 56/58
WEV K513
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland

Jessica Halten

Yale School of Management ( email )

165 Whitney Ave
New Haven, CT 06511

Sven Hoeppner

Ghent University ( email )

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Barbara Ikica

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Simon Jantschgi

University of Zurich ( email )

Institute for Banking & Finance
Zurich, 8001
Switzerland

Heinrich H. Nax (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich ( email )

Rämistrasse 101
ZUE F7
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Jonathan Newton

Kyoto University - Institute of Economic Research ( email )

Yoshida-Honmachi
Sakyo-ku
Kyoto 606-8501
JAPAN

Bary Pradelski

CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes ( email )

Grenoble
France

HOME PAGE: http://cnrs.fr

Adrian Soos

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stefan Wehrli

ETH Zurich ( email )

LEE G104
Leonhardstrasse 21
Zurich
Switzerland

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