I have been searching for an article that I know exists, but somehow am unable to find.

The article is about an economic game where participants are assigned to a group, and can observe how much others have contributed to the common 'money pool.' According to the article, if people see the actual monetary amounts given by others, they will tend to like/not punish the person who has given the most. However, when they see the percentage of the incomes given to the money pool, and find out that the person who has given the most has actually given the least (percentagewise) from his income, they tend to severely punish him.

So, the authors conclude that people care about ratios given by others.

I do not know exactly which economic game this is, but I am certain of having read this.

  • $\begingroup$ Sounds familiar... will check. $\endgroup$
    – luchonacho
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 5:41

1 Answer 1


Although your description is very detailed, there is plenty of research on this topic. I think you are looking for this current published paper:

Starmans, Christina & Sheskin, Mark & Bloom, Paul. (2017). Why people prefer unequal societies. Nature Human Behaviour. 1. Article number 0082. doi:10.1038/s41562-017-0082.

This paper covers the latest research about inequality. If its not the specific one you are searching for, please look at its 102 references and let us know.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for this input. Based on this article, and my ongoing exploration of the lit afterwards, I was able to find the article (Enforecement of contribution norms in public good games with heterogeneous populations, Reuben and Riedl 2009) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ @DesperateinStatistics the proper way to thank an answerer is to upvote and/or accept their answer $\endgroup$
    – Herr K.
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 6:03

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