Envy is sometimes suggested as an underlying motive in the assessment of
different economic allocations. In the theoretical literature on fair division, following Foley (1967), the term “envy” refers to an intrapersonal comparison of different consumption bundles. By contrast, in its everyday use “envy” involves interpersonal comparisons of well-being. We present and discuss results from free-form bargaining experiments on fair division problems in which inter- and intrapersonal criteria can be distinguished. We find that interpersonal comparisons play the dominant role. The effect of the intrapersonal criterion of envy-freeness is limited to situations in which other fairness criteria are not applicable.
Herreiner, Dorothea K. and Puppe, Clemens, "Envy Freeness in Experimental Fair Division Problems" (2009). Economics Faculty Works. Paper 1.
Herreiner, Dorothea, K., and Puppe, Clemens. "Envy Freeness in Experimental Fair Division Problems", Theory and Decision, 67/1, 65-100, 2009.