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Determinants of Equity Judgments in Medical and Financial Contexts
Dipl.-Psych. Katja Funke, Dr. Lars Schwettmann
Our research is embedded in the methods of theoretical and experimental social choice and is concentrated on problems of distributive justice. We focus on a restricted class of dilemmas in which (i) recipients need a critical amount of the resource allocated and (ii) the recipients differ in their ability to extract benefits from the resource. Specifically, we intend to study (identify and characterize) those factors potentially influencing the relationship prevailing between actual (i.e. observed) choices and theoretical principles. We distinguish three groups of potentially influential factors: (i) the characteristics of the context in which the dilemma is embedded (medical context, development context, or a context in financial economics) including the nature of the resource to be allocated, (ii) the features of the recipients, and (iii) the individual characteristics of the allocator (decision maker). The significance of the factors are evaluated in the course of an experimental study. Results from our experiments in Germany and Norway reveal already strong contextual differences.


Equity, distributive justice, empirical social choice, individual characteristics, medical context

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