The Merit Primacy Effect
Karl Ove Moene (),
Siv-Elisabeth Skjelbred () and
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Karl Ove Moene: University of Oslo
Siv-Elisabeth Skjelbred: University of Oslo
No 2017-047, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group
Do people give primacy to merit when luck partly determines earnings? This paper reports from a novel experiment where third-party spectators have to decide whether to redistribute from a high-earner to a low-earner in cases where earnings are determined by luck and merit. Our main finding is that the spectators assign strong primacy to merit in such situations, and as a result violate basic fairness conditions. We believe that the results shed new light on inequality acceptance in society, in particular by showing how just a little bit of merit can make people significantly more inequality accepting.
Keywords: luck; experimental economics; Inequality; fairness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D31 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-hpe
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Cappel ... t-primacy-effect.pdf First version, April 25, 2017 (application/pdf)
Journal Article: The Merit Primacy Effect (2023)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hka:wpaper:2017-047
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