How Economists and Physicians Trade Off Efficiency and Equity in Medically and Neutrally Framed Allocation Problems?
This experiment investigates the social preferences and choices of economists and physicians for treating patients and compares the choices with those in a congruent neutrally framed allocation problem. The potential recipients differ with respect to their minimum needs as well as to their ability to profit from the receipt. Using the theoretical solutions, we classify the distributors as selfish, Rawlsian or maximizing the number of recipients. The results indicate that economists tend towards selfishness whereas the choices of physicians are more in line with maximizing the number of recipients and Rawlsianism. Regarding framing, we observe that professional norms show up more clearly in the settings familiar to the distributors. We finally test hypotheses regarding how the probability of being served and the allocated quantity depend on a recipient s characteristics as well as on the type of distributor.