Research

Current Projects

  • Estimating individual-level preferences relating to inequality aversion and self-interest using incentivised laboratory and lab-in-the-field experiments.
  • Conducting quasi-experimental evaluations of the inequality impacts of health and social policies.
  • Comparing mismatches in poverty indices by considering distributional changes over time amongst different groups in the population.

Research Groups

  • EQUIPOL (Equity in Health Policy) – Department of Health Sciences and Centre for Health Economics, University of York
  • EXEC (Centre for Experimental Economics) – Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York
  • OPHI (Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative) – Department of International Development, University of Oxford
  • IRNEP (Interdisciplinary Research Network for Economists and Philosophers)

Job Market Paper

Inequality Aversion, Self-Interest and Oneness: A Ugandan Lab-in-the-Field Experiment (Download)

Preferences relating to inequality aversion, self-interest and oneness (the closeness of connection to others) are incorporated in a structural model and estimated in order to explain prosocial behaviour. An incentivised lab-in-the-field experiment was run in Mbale, Uganda (n=156), with both general population and student samples. The experiment was a modified three-person dictator game, run on touch-screen tablets. Decision problems were repeated (54 rounds) to ensure individual-level preferences could be estimated; using the Dirichlet distribution to rationalise noisy behaviour. Two within-subject treatments varied if the identity of the `recipients’ was anonymous or known. Results find extensive heterogeneity in prosocial behaviour, which is accounted for through individual preference parameters. On average, there is a substantial regard for others with a preference for reducing inequality, rather than increasing efficiency. Oneness is found to have large and significant effects on giving; with distinctions between self-other and between-other trade-offs emerging.

Keywords: Distributional Preferences, Prosocial Behaviour, Experimental Economics, Social Distance, Inequality, Altruism, Social Welfare Function.

JEL Classification: C72, C91, D63, D64, I31.

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