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Perceptions of fairness and allocation systems

By David A. Savage and Benno Torgler


This paper explores the conditions of acceptability of differing allocation systems under scarcity and evaluates what makes a price system more or less fair. We find that fairness in an allocation arrangement depend on the institutional settings inherent in the situation, such as information, transparency and competition and the perceived institutional quality e.g., fiscal exchange and institutional trust). Results also indicate that the solution “weak people first” is seen as the fairest approach to an excess demand situation, followed by\ud “first come, first serve”, the price system and an auction system. On the other hand, a random procedure or an allocation through the government is not perceived to be fair. Moreover, economics students seemed to be less sceptical towards the price system than other subjects although we observe that female students are more sceptical than male students. \u

Topics: 140206 Experimental Economics, 140213 Public Economics- Public Choice
Publisher: Economic Society of Australia
Year: 2010
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