Respondents answer to an online survey about their preferences over societies presented to them. All respondents respond to four surveys that each elicit a given inequality aversion parameter. The parameters are: (i) ν of the concentration index for socio-economic health inequality (ii) δ of the generalized Gini coefficient (S-Gini). (iii) ε of the Atkinson inequality index for health inequality and (iv) ε of the Atkinson inequality index for income inequality.
In each survey, the respondent faces a series of tasks where he or she is presented with two (the surveys eliciting ε) or three (the surveys eliciting δ and ν) societies. The different societies represent the effects of a policy change in taxes (δ survey) or the health care sector (ν survey). The respondent has to pick the society he or she thinks has highest welfare. The societies are presented as a distribution of income or health over the group of poor, middle income and rich citizens of the society.
In the surveys eliciting δ and ν, respondents face two questions, each comparing three societies. Each question locates the respondent on a certain interval which is narrowed down by repeating the task. The first question locates respondents as either δ<2.5, 2.5< δ<3 or δ>3 (same for ν). Respondents with δ <2.5 in the first question get a follow up question that places them as either δ<1.5, 1.5< δ<2 or 2<δ<2.5. Respondents with δ>3 in the first question get a follow up question that places them as either 3<δ<3.5, 3.5< δ<4 or δ>4. Respondents that placed on 2.5< δ<3 in the first question get a control question that elicits the same interval as the first question but with different societies.
In the surveys eliciting ε, respondents compare a series of five “B” societies with a fix “A” society. The ”B” societies have the same level of inequality, but are increasing in mean health/income. If and when a respondent switches from choosing the A society to choosing the B society defines an interval for the value of ε of the respondent.
The order in which respondents answer the four surveys is random. In addition, a randomly selected subsample of respondents answer a fifth survey where the ν of the concentration index for socio-economic health inequality is elicited for a society with health levels considerably lower than in the main survey eliciting ν. Finally, the respondents will respond to a number of control- and background questions on family situation, income, political orientation, time- and risk preferences and health.
A first step is to conduct a pilot experiment with a reduced number of respondents (around 100) and a reduced version of the background questions, excluding questions on health. The main survey including a complete list of background questions will be sent to 1000 respondents. The respondents receive a moderate compensation for answering the survey.