How Context Matters: A Survey Based Experiment on Distributive Justice

Marco Faravelli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    72 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We explore distributive justice and perception of fairness using survey data from freshmen and senior students of economics and sociology. We analyse the impact of context and education on their preferences over a hypothetical distribution of resources between individuals which presents a trade off between efficiency and equality. With context giving minimal information, economics students are less likely to favour equality; studying economics influences the preferences of the subjects, increasing this difference. However, when the same problem is inserted into a meaningful context, the difference disappears. Four distribution mechanisms are analysed: egalitarianism, maximin, utilitarianism and utilitarianism with a floor constraint. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1399-1422
    Number of pages24
    JournalJournal of Public Economics
    Volume91
    Issue number7-8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

    Keywords

    • distributive justice
    • context
    • maximin
    • utilitarianism
    • egalitarianism
    • efficiency
    • EMPIRICAL-FINDINGS
    • ECONOMISTS
    • COOPERATION
    • RESPONSIBILITY
    • PREFERENCES
    • PRINCIPLES
    • DECISIONS
    • EQUALITY
    • FAIRNESS
    • BEHAVIOR

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