Modeling Social Preferences: A Generalized Model of Inequity Aversion
AbstractTaking note of the wide variety and growing list of models in the literature to explain patterns of behavior observed in laboratory experiments, this paper identifies two tests, the Variety Test (ability of a model to explain outcomes under variety or alternative scenarios) and the Psychological Test (ability of a model to conform to psychological intuition), that can be used to judge any model of other-regarding behavior. It is argued that for a mathematical model to qualify as a social welfare function, it must simultaneously pass the two tests. It is shown that none of the models proposed to date passes these two tests simultaneously. The paper proposes a generalized model of inequity aversion which parsimoniously explains interior solution in the dictator game and dynamics of outcomes in other games. The paper postulates that one’s idea of equitable distribution is state-dependent, where the state is determined by psychological and structural parameters. The state could be fair, superior or inferior. Individuals in a fair state have zero equity-bias and split the pie evenly. Those in a superior (inferior) state have positive (negative) equity-bias and value more (less) than fair distribution as equitable distribution. Given psychological tendencies of an individual, every experimental design/structure assigns one of the three states to players which lead to individual-specific valuation of equity. Prediction about outcomes across different experiments and designs can be made through predicting their impact on equity-bias. All aspects of an individual’s behavior, such as altruism, fairness, reciprocity, self-serving bias, kindness, intentions etc, manifest themselves in the equity-bias. The model therefore is all-encompassing.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels in its series EERI Research Paper Series with number EERI_RP_2009_21.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 09 2009
Date of revision:
Experimental Economics; Social Preferences; Other-regarding Preferences; Inequity aversion.;
Other versions of this item:
- Khan, Hayat, 2009. "Modeling Social Preferences: A Generalized Model of Inequity Aversion," MPRA Paper 14701, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Apr 2009.
- B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
- C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-09-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2009-09-26 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2009-09-26 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-UPT-2009-09-26 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nicholas Bardsley, 2005. "Altruism or Artefact? A Note on Dictator Game Giving," Discussion Papers 2005-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
- Bolton Gary E. & Zwick Rami, 1995.
"Anonymity versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-121, July.
- Gary E Bolton & Rami Zuwick, 2010. "Anonymity versus punishments in ultimatum bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 826, David K. Levine.
- M. Rabin, 2001.
"Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
511, David K. Levine.
- Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
- Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
- Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002.
"Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
- Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
- Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Kagel, John H. & Kim, Chung & Moser, Donald, 1996. "Fairness in Ultimatum Games with Asymmetric Information and Asymmetric Payoffs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 100-110, March.
- Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001.
"A Theory of Reciprocity,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
457, CESifo Group Munich.
- Theo Offerman, 1999. "Hurting hurts more than Helping helps: The Role of the Self-serving Bias," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-018/1, Tinbergen Institute.
- Bereby-Meyer, Yoella & Niederle, Muriel, 2005. "Fairness in bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 173-186, February.
- John Kagel & Katherine Wolfe, 2001. "Tests of Fairness Models Based on Equity Considerations in a Three-Person Ultimatum Game," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 203-219, December.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999.
"A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dufwenberg, M. & Kirchsteiger, G., 1998.
"A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity,"
1998-37, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Steven Gjerstad, 2006.
"A Tractable Model of Reciprocity and Fairness,"
Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series
2006-05, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
- James Cox & Daniel Friedman & Steven Gjerstad, 2004. "A Tractable Model of Reciprocity and Fairness," Experimental 0406001, EconWPA.
- Cox, J. & Friedman, D. & Gjerstad, S., 2006. "A Trackable Model of Reciprocity and Fairness," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1181, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
- Schotter, A. & Weiss, A. & Zapater, I., 1993.
"Fairness and Survival in Ultimatum and Dictatorship Games,"
93-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Schotter, Andrew & Weiss, Avi & Zapater, Inigo, 1996. "Fairness and survival in ultimatum and dictatorship games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 37-56, October.
- Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
- Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
- Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
- Erlei, Mathias, 2008.
"Heterogeneous social preferences,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 436-457, March.
- Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
- Offerman, Theo, 2002. "Hurting hurts more than helping helps," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1423-1437, September.
- Ottone, Stefania & Ponzano, Ferruccio, 2005. "An Extension to the Model of Inequity Aversion by Fehr and Schmidt," POLIS Working Papers 51, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
- Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julia van Hove).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.