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Measuring Future Grandparents' Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing

Olof Johansson-Stenman, Fredrik Carlsson and Dinky Daruvala
The Economic Journal
Vol. 112, No. 479 (Apr., 2002), pp. 362-383
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Royal Economic Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/798423
Page Count: 22
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Measuring Future Grandparents' Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing
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Abstract

Individuals' aversion to risk and inequality, and their concern for relative standing, are measured through experimental choices between hypothetical societies. It is found that, on average, individuals are both fairly inequality-averse and have a strong concern for relative income. The results are used to illustrate welfare consequences based on a utilitarian SWF and a modified CRRA utility function. It is shown that the social marginal utility of income may then become negative, even at income levels that are far from extreme.

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