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Testing the single-peakedness of other-regarding preferences

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  • Levati, M. Vittoria
  • Nicholas, Aaron
  • Rai, Birendra

Abstract

We test an implication that is common to all prominent theories of outcome-based other-regarding preferences: the ordinal preference ranking of an agent over a finite number of alternatives lying on any straight line in the space of material payoffs to oneself and some other agent must be single-peaked or single-plateaued. An incentive compatible mechanism is used to elicit strict preference rankings of subjects over a finite set of alternatives in decision tasks based on dictator and trust games. Violations of single-peakedness range from a low of 19% to a high of 46% across the six main treatments. Other-regarding subjects violate single-peakedness significantly more often than self-regarding subjects. The presence of equal-split in the set of alternatives increases the number of violations. We argue that the violations cannot be explained by appealing to the relative ease of reporting certain rankings or as errors from the theoretical benchmark.

Suggested Citation

  • Levati, M. Vittoria & Nicholas, Aaron & Rai, Birendra, 2014. "Testing the single-peakedness of other-regarding preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 197-209.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:197-209
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2014.01.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Anbarci, Nejat & Feltovich, Nick, 2018. "How fully do people exploit their bargaining position? The effects of bargaining institution and the 50–50 norm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 320-334.
    2. Nejat Anbarci & Nick Feltovich, 2013. "How responsive are people to changes in their bargaining position? Earned bargaining power and the 50–50 norm," EcoMod2013 5855, EcoMod.
    3. repec:spr:joecth:v:65:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00199-016-1015-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Other-regarding preferences; Single-peaked preferences; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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