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Are group members less inequality averse than individual decision makers?

Haoran He and Marie Claire Villeval ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 138, issue C, 111-124

Abstract: Do groups exhibit more or less inequality aversion than individuals? Although the previous literature has shown that in many environments individuals in groups make more selfish decisions than when deciding in isolation, we find that individuals express more inequality aversion when making initial proposals in a group decision-making environment compared to an individual decision-making environment. This may be driven by a change in the decision-making environment and by beliefs about the prevailing norm in the group, but we exclude that it is driven by a loss of anonymity or by efficiency concerns. By investigating how groups aggregate individual preferences under a unanimity rule, we show that the members with median social preferences lead the group decisions and a higher inequality aversion compared to the median slows down the convergence process. Overall, final decisions in groups reveal the same level of inequality aversion than individual decisions.

Keywords: Group; Inequality aversion; Preference aggregation; Social image; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 D03 D63 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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