The Empathetic Egoist: The Effect of Empathy on Plural Fairness Ideals

Published: 11 April 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/jw77tnw32f.1
Hyoji Kwon,


This study examines how promoting state empathy, which is expressed in specific contexts or situations, affects the distribution decision-making of subjects with different fairness ideals. First, we derive the fairness ideal types of subjects using the choice model of Cappelen et al. (2007) and the estimation method of Kwon and Funaki (2022). Subjects are classified into one of three types: egoist, libertarian, and liberal egalitarian. Next, by introducing the A(e) condition of Andreoni and Rao (2011), state empathy is promoted by allowing both the allocator and the receiver sides to make decisions and write non-binding messages to their partners under role uncertainty. As result, on average, the subjects reduce their shares in response to the promotion of state empathy. However, comparing by type, we find that the egoistic allocators, who do not have a fairness ideal, reduce their shares the most. In the cases of the libertarians and liberal egalitarians, who have their own fairness ideals, the effect of state empathy is weaker than it is in the case of the egoists. Instead, we find that state empathy tends to shift the distributions of libertarians and liberal egalitarians closer to their ideal distributions according to their fairness ideals.


Steps to reproduce

We use STATA software. First, if you run code of "Type estimation" using data from "data_of_Part1(for_Type_estimation).dta", you can estimate the fairness ideal types of the subject. Second, "data_of_Part2.dta" is used to find the effect of empathy on each fairness ideal type.


Waseda Daigaku Gendai Seiji Keizai Kenkyujo, Waseda Daigaku


Experimental Economics, Behavioral Experiment, Experiment in Economics


Japan Society for the Promotion of Science


Japan Society for the Promotion of Science