Raymond Fisman

Exposure to Ideology and Distributional Preferences

Coauthor(s): Daniel Markovits, Shachar Kariv.


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We study the impact of exposure to ideology on distributional preferences in the context of modified Dictator Games that vary the price of giving. We exploiting a natural experiment in education — random assignment to first-term instructors at the Yale Law School — in order to distinguish the self-selection into a discipline from the learn- ing that education in this discipline provides. We find that subjects exposed to instructors that stress traditional economic ideas display a greater emphasis on efficiency (increasing total payoffs) relative to those exposed to instructors that stress ideas from the humanities, who emphasize equity (reducing differences in payoffs). Subjects exposed to economics instructors also display greater levels of indexical selfishness (greater weight on own payoff) relative to those exposed to humanist instructors.

Source: Working Paper
Exact Citation:
Fisman, Raymond, Daniel Markovits, and Shachar Kariv. "Exposure to Ideology and Distributional Preferences." Working Paper, Columbia Business School, July 19, 2009.
Date: 19 7 2009