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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. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  4. Ernesto Reuben & Frans van Winden, 2006. "Reciprocity and Emotions when Reciprocators Know each other," CESifo Working Paper Series 1674, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. 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, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 407-429, June.
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  15. Kirchsteiger, Georg, 1994. "The role of envy in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 373-389, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Reuben, Ernesto & Riedl, Arno, 2007. "Public Goods Provision and Sanctioning in Priveleged Groups," Research Memorandum 028, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  2. Michal Krawczyk, 2011. "A model of procedural and distributive fairness," Theory and Decision, Springer, Springer, vol. 70(1), pages 111-128, January.
  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, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics 2013-035, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Jonathan Tan & Friedel Bolle, 2006. "On the Relative Strengths of Altruism and Fairness," Theory and Decision, Springer, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 35-67, 02.

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