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Status Quo Effects in Fairness Games: Reciprocal Responses to Acts of Commission vs. Acts of Omission

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  • James C. Cox
  • Maroš Servátka

    ()
    (University of Canterbury)

  • Radovan Vadovic

Abstract

Both the law and culture make a central distinction between acts of commission that overturn the status quo and acts of omission that uphold it. In everyday life acts of commission often elicit stronger reciprocal responses than do acts of omission. In this paper we compare reciprocal responses to both types of acts and ask whether behavior of subjects in three experiments is consistent with existing theory. The design of the experiments focuses on the axioms of revealed altruism theory (Cox, Friedman, and Sadiraj, 2008) that make it observationally distinct from other theories. We find support for this theory in all three experiments.

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File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/1325.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 13/25.

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Length: 74 pages
Date of creation: 09 Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:13/25

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Keywords: Experimental economics; reciprocity; revealed altruism; acts of commission; acts of omission; other-regarding preferences; status quo;

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References

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  1. Rutstrom, E. Elisabet & Williams, Melonie B., 2000. "Entitlements and fairness:: an experimental study of distributive preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 75-89, September.
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  7. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, . "Revealed Altruism," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-09, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Jul 2007.
  8. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
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  14. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2006. "On Modeling Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-26, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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  17. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
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  19. Fredrik Carlsson & Haoran He & Peter Martinsson, 2013. "Easy come, easy go," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 190-207, June.
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  21. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status In Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188, February.
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