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Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics

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  • Rabin, Matthew

Abstract

People like to help those who are helping them and to hurt those who are hurting them. Outcomes rejecting such motivations are called fairness equilibria. Outcomes are mutual-max when each person maximizes the other's material payoffs, and mutual-min when each person minimizes the other's payoffs. It is shown that every mutual-max or mutual-min Nash equilibrium is a fairness equilibrium. If payoffs are small, fairness equilibria are roughly the set of mutual-max and mutual-min outcomes; if payoffs are large, fairness equilibria are roughly the set of Nash equilibria. Several economic examples are considered and possible welfare implications of fairness are explored. Copyright 1993 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:83:y:1993:i:5:p:1281-1302
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    1. Levine, David I., 1991. "Cohesiveness, productivity, and wage dispersion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 237-255, March.
    2. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-1095, December.
    3. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1988. "Information dependent games : Can common sense be common knowledge?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 215-221.
    4. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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