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Fast or fair? A study of response times


  • Piovesan, Marco
  • Wengström, Erik


This paper uses a modified dictator game to investigate the relationship between response times and social preferences. We find that faster subjects more often chose the option with the highest payoff for themselves. Moreover, our within-analysis reveals that, for a given individual, payoff maximizing choices are reached quicker than choices expressing social preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Piovesan, Marco & Wengström, Erik, 2009. "Fast or fair? A study of response times," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 193-196, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:105:y:2009:i:2:p:193-196

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. Ariel Rubinstein, 2007. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: A Study of Response Times," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1243-1259, October.
    3. Pablo Branas-Garza & Ana Leon-Mejia & Luis M. Miller, 2007. "Response Time under Monetary Incentives: the Ultimatum Game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-070, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    4. Antonio Cabrales & Raffaele Miniaci & Marco Piovesan & Giovanni Ponti, 2010. "Social Preferences and Strategic Uncertainty: An Experiment on Markets and Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2261-2278, December.
    5. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    6. Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted, 2004. "Animal Spirits: Affective and Deliberative Processes in Economic Behavior," Working Papers 04-14, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
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    More about this item


    Response times Social preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior


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