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This article uses a laboratory experiment to examine the question of whether justice and fairness are different motivational forces in the dictator game. "Justice" and "fairness" are often used interchangeably because their meanings and usages are so closely linked, despite their distinct connotations. Using four different treatments, our experimental design investigates the subtle differences between the two social concepts to explicate generosity in the dictator game. The results indicate that justice, not fairness, legitimizes property rights in the dictator game.


This article was originally published in Southern Economic Journal, volume 76, issue 1, in 2009. DOI: 10.4284/sej.2009.76.1.130

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University of North Carolina



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