Is Equality Fair?

Arthur Tarasov
This paper attempts to answer the question whether people consider decisions that lead to equal outcomes fair. I find that this is not always the case. In an experiment where subjects are given equal opportunities to choose how to divide money between each other in a two-player game, any strategy is perceived to be fair more than half the time, including the profit-maximizing strategy. The equal divisions that lead to equal outcomes are sometimes considered unfair by both players. Moreover,
more » ... ers frequently punished the others, whose decisions led to equal outcomes. I hypothesize that such punishments occur because people have different conceptions of what a fair outcome and fair punishment are. Classification-JEL: C Keywords: Fairness, Equal outcomes, Reciprocal punishment, Fair division, Social values, Effort.
doi:10.14276/2285-0430.1901 fatcat:wtcifaxfavbxrimwqwzmwy6d6y