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Rotten Kids With Bad Intentions

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  • Nick Netzer

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Armin Schmutzler

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Zurich)

Abstract

We examine a “Rotten Kid” model (Becker 1974) where a player with social preferences interacts with an egoistic player. We assume that social preferences are intentionbased rather than outcome-based. In a very general multi-stage setting we show that any equilibrium must involve mutually unkind behavior of both players, endogenously generating negative rather than positive emotions. In a large class of two-stage games that includes principal-agent and gift-giving games, this prevents the equilibrium from being materially Pareto efficient. Compared to the subgame-perfect equilibrium without social preferences, efficiency is still generally increased. On the other hand, the materialistic player has lower whereas the reciprocal player has higher material payoffs, so that reciprocity does not increase equity: For sufficiently strong reciprocity concerns, the materialistic player ends up with a negligible share of the gains from trade.

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File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/2009/wp0919.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0919.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision: Nov 2011
Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0919

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Keywords: Reciprocity; psychological games; moral hazard; gift giving;

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References

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  1. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997. "Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2005. "Dynamic Psychological Games," Working Papers 287, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Björn Bartling & Urs Fischbacher, 2012. "Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 67-87.
  6. 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.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  8. Amihai Glazer, 2008. "Optimal Contracts When a Worker Envies His Boss," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 120-137, May.
  9. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  10. Florian Englmaier & Stephen Leider, 2012. "Contractual and Organizational Structure with Reciprocal Agents," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 146-83, May.
  11. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2000. "Reciprocity and wage undercutting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1069-1078, May.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. De Marco, Giuseppe & Immordino, Giovanni, 2013. "Partnership, reciprocity and team design," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 39-58.
  2. Felix Bierbrauer & Nick Netzer, 2012. "Mechanism design and intentions," ECON - Working Papers 066, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Apr 2014.
  3. Giuseppe De Marco & Giovanni Immordino, 2012. "Reciprocity in the Principal Multiple Agent Model," CSEF Working Papers 314, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Polk, Andreas & Schmutzler, Armin & Müller, Adrian, 2013. "Lobbying and the Power of Multinational Firms," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79875, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  5. Michele Sennhauser, 2009. "Why the Linear Utility Function is a Risky Choice in Discrete-Choice Experiments," SOI - Working Papers 1014, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  6. Bassi, Matteo & Pagnozzi, Marco & Piccolo, Salvatore, 2014. "Optimal contracting with altruism and reciprocity," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 27-38.

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