Working Paper No. 1014

Luck, Choice and Responsibility: An Experimental Study of Fairness Views

Published: March 21, 2014Pages: 32Keywords: Fairness; Responsibility; Option luck; Brute luck; ExperimentJEL-codes: C91; D63; D81; H23
Published version

Luck, Choice and Responsibility: An Experimental Study of Fairness Views Johanna Möllerström, Bjørn-Atle Reme and Erik Ø. Sørensen


We conduct a laboratory experiment where third-party spectators can re­distribute resources between two agents, thereby offsetting the conse­quences of controllable and uncontrollable luck. Some spectators go to the limits and equalize all or no inequalities, but many follow an interior allo­cation rule previously unaccounted for by the fairness views in the litera­ture. These interior allocators regard an agent’s choice as more important than the cause of her low income and do not always compensate bad un­controllable luck. Instead, they condition such compensation on the agent’s decision regarding controllable luck exposure, even though the two types of luck are independent.

 

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