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Implementing (Un)fair Procedures? Favoritism and Process Fairness when Inequality is Inevitable

Robert J. Schmidt and Stefan Trautmann

No 201-013, Discussion Paper from Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research

Abstract: We study allocation behavior when outcome inequality is inevitable but a fair process is feasible, as in selecting one person from several candidates for a job or award. We show that allocators may be influenced by inappropriate criteria, impeding the implementation of a fair process. We study four interventions to induce process fairness without restricting the allocator’s decisions: Increasing the transparency of the allocation process; providing a private randomization device; allowing the allocator to delegate to a public randomization device; and allowing the allocator to avoid information on inappropriate criteria. All interventions except transparency have positive effects, but differ substantially in their impact.

Keywords: equality; procedural justice; discrimination (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 D73 J70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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