Performance, Luck and Equality: An Experimental Analysis of Subjects’ Preferences for Different Allocation Criteria

Leonardo Becchetti 1 , Giacomo Degli Antoni 2 , 3 , Stefania Ottone 3 , 4  and Nazaria Solferino 1
  • 1 Department of Economics Law and Institutions, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Columbia 2, 00133, Roma, Italy
  • 2 Department of Law, Politics and International Studies, University of Parma, via Università 12, 43121, Parma, Italy
  • 3 Econometica, Inter-University Center for Economic Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, via Bicocca degli Arcimboldi 8, 20126, Milano, Italy
  • 4 Department of Economics, Management and Statistics, University of Milano Bicocca, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo, 1, 20126, Milano, Italy
Leonardo Becchetti
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Economics Law and Institutions, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Columbia 2, 00133, Roma, Italy
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, Giacomo Degli Antoni
  • Department of Law, Politics and International Studies, University of Parma, via Università 12, 43121, Parma, Italy
  • Econometica, Inter-University Center for Economic Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, via Bicocca degli Arcimboldi 8, 20126, Milano, Italy
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  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Stefania Ottone
  • Econometica, Inter-University Center for Economic Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, via Bicocca degli Arcimboldi 8, 20126, Milano, Italy
  • Department of Economics, Management and Statistics, University of Milano Bicocca, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo, 1, 20126, Milano, Italy
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and Nazaria Solferino
  • Department of Economics Law and Institutions, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Columbia 2, 00133, Roma, Italy
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar

Abstract

We perform an experimental analysis to investigate participants’ choices of allocative criteria under different conditions. We document that performance-based criteria guaranteeing a minimal egalitarian base are widely preferred by both neutral spectators and stakeholders without information on relative payoffs, although popularity among stakeholders is mostly due to self-interest considerations and optimism concerning their expected performance. Information regarding the distribution of payoffs under different criteria dramatically reduces such choice because the self-interest motive directly emerges, and most players opt to revise their decision in favor of the criterion maximizing their own payoff.

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