Economics at your fingertips  

Unequal Incentives and Perceived Fairness in Groups

Gerald Eisenkopf ()
Additional contact information
Gerald Eisenkopf: Faculty I, University of Vechta, 49377 Vechta, Germany

Games, 2018, vol. 9, issue 3, 1-18

Abstract: Incentives shape how much people contribute to the welfare of a group. These incentives do not restrict the opportunities but they change the costs of contributions. This paper studies how the random assignment of such incentives affects perceived distributive justice among group members. Do people consider differences in incentives similar to unequal opportunities, that is, situations in which some people have a lower chance to make a high contribution? The results from a real effort experiment show that the economic framing of incentives matters in this context. If some people do not work for the common good because of rather large private costs, they appreciate these ‘negative incentives’ similarly to unequal opportunities. They do not do so, and become less egalitarian, if lower effort for the group increases the chance for private gains (‘positive incentives’). Interestingly, participants reward group members who do not limit their expected contributions to the group despite adverse incentives.

Keywords: distributive justice; unequal incentives; experiment; entitlements (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C C7 C70 C71 C72 C73 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf) (text/html)

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:

Access Statistics for this article

Games is currently edited by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Berger

More articles in Games from MDPI, Open Access Journal
Bibliographic data for series maintained by XML Conversion Team ().

Page updated 2018-11-03
Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:9:y:2018:i:3:p:71-:d:170855