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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
  • MaroÅ¡ Servátka
  • 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 two 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, Axiom R (for reciprocity) and Axiom S (for status quo). We find support for this theory in both experiments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series with number 2012-03.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision: Aug 2013
Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2012-03

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  1. 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.
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  6. Jim C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2005. "Revealed Altruism," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000595, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. 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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  16. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  17. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2007. "On Modeling Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Public Finance Review, , vol. 35(2), pages 311-332, March.
  18. Strahilevitz, Michal A & Loewenstein, George, 1998. " The Effect of Ownership History on the Valuation of Objects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(3), pages 276-89, December.
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  20. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  21. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  22. Arkes, Hal R. & Joyner, Cynthia A. & Pezzo, Mark V. & Nash, Jane Gradwohl & Siegel-Jacobs, Karen & Stone, Eric, 1994. "The Psychology of Windfall Gains," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 331-347, September.
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