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Intention and Stochastic Outcomes: An Experimental study

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  • Gary Charness
  • David I. Levine

Abstract

Do people care about intentions - even when good intentions do not produce good results? In our experiments we find that rates of punishment and reward react strongly to intentions (the wage a firm decides to pay) and more modestly to distributional outcomes (the higher or lower wage actually received including the stochastic component). For example, workers who end up receiving medium wages respond much more positively when this resulted from the firm offering a high wage but bad luck lowered the worker's pay than when this resulted from the firm offering a low wage and good luck raised the pay. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Charness & David I. Levine, 2007. "Intention and Stochastic Outcomes: An Experimental study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1051-1072, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:522:p:1051-1072
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