Journal Article

An Experimental Study on Individual Choice, Social Welfare, and Social Preferences


  • Seidl
  • S.
  • Traub
  • S.
  • Schmidt
  • U.
Publication Date

We experimentally study subjects’ compliance with dominance relationships of income distributions in a ranking task. The experiment consisted of four different treatments: lottery, individual choice, social preferences, and social planner. Our results suggest that people’s risk attitudes do not adequately reflect their inequality attitudes. Uninvolved social planners exhibit randomization preferences, while self-interested social planners are generally more inequality averse and try to avoid extreme outcomes.

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JEL Classification
C91, D31, D63

Key Words

  • inequality
  • preferences
  • procedural fairness
  • risk
  • Ungleichheit