How Context Matters: A Survey Based Experiment on Distributive Justice

Marco Faravelli

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


We explore disruptive justice and perception of fairness using survey data from freshmen and senior students of economics and sociology. We analyse the impact of context and education on their preferences over a hypothetical distribution of resources between individuals which presents a trade off between efficiency and equality. With context giving minimal information, economics students are less likely to favour equality; studying economics influences the preferences of the subjects, increasing this difference. However, when the same problem is inserted into a meaningful context, the difference disappears. Four distribution mechanisms are analysed: egalitarianism, maximin, utilitarianism and utilitarianism with a floor constraint.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEdinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameESE Discussion Papers


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