Rejecting Non-Paternalist Motivation: An Experimental Test
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Experimental Political Science. 2021, 1-7. 10.1017/XPS.2021.12
Is people’s willingness to implement their fairness views on a group dependent on how many in the group share their view? We designed a new experiment to answer this question. Spectator participants were asked how many other participants they believe share their view of whether it is fair to redistribute income in a work task. They were then given the option to pay two cents to implement the distribution they found fair upon a pair of participants who had completed the work task. Although spectator participants systematically overestimate how many share their fairness view, being informed about the true number does not affect their decision to implement the distribution they found fair. The results suggest that people are motivated to implement their fairness view regardless of whether their view is at odds with that of those who are affected.