The Role of Equality, Efficiency, and Rawlsian Motives in Social Preferences: A Reply to Engelmann and Strobel

Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 179

15 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2004

See all articles by Ernst Fehr

Ernst Fehr

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Klaus M. Schmidt

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: January 2004

Abstract

In a recent paper Engelmann and Strobl claim that a combination of a preference for efficiency and a Rawlsian motive for helping the least well-off is far more important than inequity aversion. Here we show that the relevance of the efficiency motive is largely restricted to students of economics and business administration. Students from other disciplines, adult academics from various disciplines and senior citizens value equality much higher than efficiency. Moreover, there is rather strong evidence that the relevance of the efficiency motive and the Rawlsian motive is largely restricted to non-strategic interactions.

Keywords: Social Preferences, Inequity Aversion, Efficiency preferences

JEL Classification: C7, C91, C92, D63, D64

Suggested Citation

Fehr, Ernst and Schmidt, Klaus M., The Role of Equality, Efficiency, and Rawlsian Motives in Social Preferences: A Reply to Engelmann and Strobel (January 2004). Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 179, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=508842 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.508842

Ernst Fehr (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

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Klaus M. Schmidt

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

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Munich, D-80539
Germany
+49 89 2180 3405 (Phone)
+49 89 2180 3510 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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