This experiment investigates decisions made by prospective economists and physicians in an allocation problem which can be framed either medically or neutrally. The potential recipients differ with respect to their minimum needs as well as to how much they benefit from a treatment. We classify the allocators as either selfish, Rawlsian, or maximizing the number of recipients. Economists tend to maximize their own payoff, whereas the physicians' choices are more in line with maximizing the number of recipients and with Rawlsianism. Regarding the framing, we observe that professional norms surface more clearly in familiar settings. Finally, we scrutinize how the probability of being served and the allocated quantity depend on a recipient's characteristics as well as on the allocator type.
experimental economics social orientation individual choices allocation of medical resources principles of distribution