Distributing Indivisible Goods Fairly: Evidence from a Questionnaire Study

Dorothea K Herreiner, Economics Department, Loyola Marymount University
Clemens Puppe, Department of Economics, University of Karlsruhe

We report the results of a questionnaire study on the fair distribution of indivisible goods. We collected data from three different subject pools, first- and second- year students majoring in economics, law students, and advanced economics students with some background knowledge of fairness theories. The purpose of this study is to assess the empirical relevance of various fairness criteria such as inequality aversion, the utilitarian principle of maximizing the sum of individual payoffs, the Rawlsian “maximin” principle of maximizing the payoff of the worst-off individual, and the criterion of envy-freeness (in the sense of Foley 1967).

Published: Anaylse & Kritik, 29/2, 2007, 235-358.

[Data Appendix]