- € 2,99
Introduction Empirical social choice is a relatively new area within the theory of collective decisions. As far as the theory and empirical investigation of voting behaviour is concerned, a broad overview has recently been published in a book by Regenwetter et al. (2006). As far as the empirical analysis of distributive issues is concerned, apart from two longer surveys by Gaertner (2007, 2009), a book is not yet available. Yaari and Bar-Hillel(1984) were probably the first to study the concept of distributive justice empirically. What the authors did was to elicit judgments of justice to various hypothetical questions that they gave to applicants for admission to Hebrew University. More concretely, roughly equal numbers of young men and women were confronted with hypothetical distribution problems that they were asked to "solve justly" (Bar-Hillel& Yaari 1993:59). The authors emphasize that the focus of their research was the ethical notions in people's minds, not their actual behaviour, recognizing that the actual behaviour "is inevitably contaminated by political, strategic, and other considerations"(1993:59). They add that "it is people's expressed sentiments (namely what they say ought to be done) rather than their revealed ones (namely that they actually do) that primarily guides the search for normative theory of justice, as well as the rhetoric of public debate on issues of distributive justice.