EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

When is inequality fair? An experiment on the effect of procedural justice and agency

Merve Akbaş, Dan Ariely and Sevgi Yuksel

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2019, vol. 161, issue C, 114-127

Abstract: We investigate how the perceived fairness of an income distribution depends on the beliefs about the process that generates the inequality. Specifically, we examine how two crucial features of this process affect fairness views: (1) Procedural justice - equal treatment of all; (2) Agency – one's ability to determine his/her income. We do this in a lab experiment by differentially varying subjects’ ability to influence their earnings. Comparison of ex-post redistribution decisions of total earnings under different conditions indicate both agency and procedural justice to matter for fairness. Highlighting the importance of agency, we observe lower redistribution of unequal earnings resulting from risk when risk is chosen freely. Highlighting the importance of procedural justice, we find introduction of inequality of opportunity to significantly increase redistribution. Despite this increase, under inequality of opportunity, the share of subjects redistributing none remain close to the share of subjects redistributing fully revealing an underlying heterogeneity in the population about how fairness views should account for inequality of opportunity.

Keywords: Fairness; Justice; Risk; Inequality; Redistribution; Agency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268119300435
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:161:y:2019:i:c:p:114-127

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.02.014

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

More articles in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().

 
Page updated 2020-05-02
Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:161:y:2019:i:c:p:114-127