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Negative Reciprocity and the Interaction of Emotions and Fairness Norms

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  • Ernesto Reuben
  • Frans van Winden

Abstract

This experimental study investigates how behavior changes after punishment for an unkind action. It also studies how fairness perceptions affect the reaction to punishment and whether this effect is consistent across repeated play and role experiences. A repeated version of the power-to-take game is used. In this game, the proposer can make a claim on the resources of a responder. Then, the responder can destroy any part of her own resources. The focus is on how proposers adjust their behavior depending on their fairness perceptions, their experienced emotions, and their interaction with responders. We find that fairness plays an important role in the behavior of proposers. Specifically, deviations from a perceived fairness norm trigger feelings of shame and guilt, which induce proposers to lower their claims. However, we also find that the perceived fairness norm varies considerably between individuals. Therefore, it is not the case that proposers who considered they were acting fairly were particularly nice to responders. Our results also show that the different types of individuals predicted by models of social preferences, can be traced among the subjects that played the same role in both periods, but fail to describe the behavior of subjects who switched from one role to the other.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1685.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1685

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  1. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Gary E Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 1997. "A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1889, David K. Levine.
  3. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  4. Noussair, C.N. & Masclet, D. & Tucker, S. & Villeval, M..C, 2003. "Monetary and non-monetary punishment in the voluntary contributions mechanism," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377951, Tilburg University.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
  7. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Kirchsteiger, Georg, 1994. "The role of envy in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 373-389, December.
  9. David K Levine, 1997. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2047, David K. Levine.
  10. Gershon Ben-Shakhar & Gary Bornstein & Astrid Hopfensitz & Frans van Winden, 2004. "Reciprocity and Emotions: Arousal, Self-Reports, and Expectations," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-099/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Knez Marc J. & Camerer Colin F., 1995. "Outside Options and Social Comparison in Three-Player Ultimatum Game Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 65-94, July.
  12. Shyam Sunder & Haijin Lin, 2003. "Using Experimental Data to Model Bargaining Behavior in Ultimatum Games," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm330, Yale School of Management.
  13. Ernesto Reuben & Frans van Winden, 2004. "Reciprocity and Emotions when Reciprocators know each other," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-098/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  14. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  15. Giorgio Coricelli, 2002. "Sequence Matters: an Experimental Study of the Effects of Experiencing Positive and Negative Reciprocity," Department of Economics University of Siena 369, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  16. Bosman, Ronald & Sutter, Matthias & van Winden, Frans, 2005. "The impact of real effort and emotions in the power-to-take game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 407-429, June.
  17. Rapoport, Amnon & Sundali, James A, 1996. "Ultimatums in Two-Person Bargaining with One-Sided Uncertainty: Offer Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 475-94.
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  19. Straub, Paul G. & Murnighan, J. Keith, 1995. "An experimental investigation of ultimatum games: information, fairness, expectations, and lowest acceptable offers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 345-364, August.
  20. Pamela Schmitt, 2004. "On Perceptions of Fairness: The Role of Valuations, Outside Options, and Information in Ultimatum Bargaining Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 49-73, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Ernesto Reuben & Arno Riedl, 2007. "Public Goods Provision and Sanctioning in Privileged Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 2063, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Jonathan Tan & Friedel Bolle, 2006. "On the Relative Strengths of Altruism and Fairness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 35-67, 02.
  3. Werner Güth & Martin G. Kocher, 2013. "More than thirty years of ultimatum bargaining experiments: Motives, variations, and a survey of the recent literature," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-035, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Michal Krawczyk, 2011. "A model of procedural and distributive fairness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(1), pages 111-128, January.

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