Journal of the Economic Science Association

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 99–109 | Cite as

Effects of gain-loss frames on advantageous inequality aversion

  • Kene Boun My
  • Nicolas LampachEmail author
  • Mathieu Lefebvre
  • Jacopo Magnani
Original Paper


This paper studies individuals’ preference for reducing advantageous inequality in the distribution of gains and losses. Combining the inequality aversion model of Fehr and Schmidt (Q J Econ 114(3):817–868, 1999) with loss aversion à la Kahneman and Tversky (Econom J Econom Soc:263–291, 1979), we predict the relative dislike for advantageous inequality is lower when outcomes are framed as losses than when outcomes are framed as gains. We test this prediction using data from two modified dictator game experiments. Consistent with the model, we find that the amount of payoff that subjects are willing to sacrifice to increase the net payoff of others and reduce advantageous inequality is smaller under a loss frame than under a gain frame. The results also show that women are more inequality averse than men in both gains and losses.


Social preferences Inequality aversion Modified dictator game Loss aversion Laboratory experiment 

JEL Classifications

C70 C91 D63 

Supplementary material

40881_2018_57_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (118 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 118 KB)
40881_2018_57_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (1.4 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (pdf 1410 KB)


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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BETA, CNRS and University of StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Centre for Legal Theory and Empirical JurisprudenceKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.BETA, University of StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  4. 4.Division of Social ScienceNew York University Abu DhabiSaadiyat IslandUnited Arab Emirates

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