IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v138y2017icp111-124.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Are group members less inequality averse than individual decision makers?

Author

Listed:
  • He, Haoran
  • Villeval, Marie Claire

Abstract

Do groups exhibit more or less inequality aversion than individuals? Although the previous literature has shown that in many environments individuals in groups make more selfish decisions than when deciding in isolation, we find that individuals express more inequality aversion when making initial proposals in a group decision-making environment compared to an individual decision-making environment. This may be driven by a change in the decision-making environment and by beliefs about the prevailing norm in the group, but we exclude that it is driven by a loss of anonymity or by efficiency concerns. By investigating how groups aggregate individual preferences under a unanimity rule, we show that the members with median social preferences lead the group decisions and a higher inequality aversion compared to the median slows down the convergence process. Overall, final decisions in groups reveal the same level of inequality aversion than individual decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • He, Haoran & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2017. "Are group members less inequality averse than individual decision makers?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 111-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:111-124
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.04.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268117300975
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gill, David & Stone, Rebecca, 2015. "Desert and inequity aversion in teams," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 42-54.
    2. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
    3. Pedro Rey-Biel, 2008. "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 297-320, June.
    4. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
    5. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2005. "The Decision Maker Matters: Individual Versus Group Behaviour in Experimental Beauty-Contest Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 200-223, January.
    6. Ronald J. Baker II & Susan K. Laury & Arlington W. Williams, 2008. "Comparing Small-Group and Individual Behavior in Lottery-Choice Experiments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 367-382, October.
    7. Sutter, Matthias, 2005. "Are four heads better than two? An experimental beauty-contest game with teams of different size," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 41-46, July.
    8. Sutter, Matthias, 2007. "Are teams prone to myopic loss aversion? An experimental study on individual versus team investment behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 128-132, November.
    9. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
    10. Balafoutas, Loukas & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Kocher, Martin & Sutter, Matthias, 2014. "Revealed distributional preferences: Individuals vs. teams," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 319-330.
    11. Linardi, Sera & McConnell, Margaret A., 2011. "No excuses for good behavior: Volunteering and the social environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 445-454, June.
    12. Kocher, Martin & Strau[ss], Sabine & Sutter, Matthias, 2006. "Individual or team decision-making--Causes and consequences of self-selection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 259-270, August.
    13. Alwine Mohnen & Kathrin Pokorny & Dirk Sliwka, 2008. "Transparency, Inequity Aversion, and the Dynamics of Peer Pressure in Teams: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 693-720, October.
    14. Karlan, Dean & McConnell, Margaret A., 2014. "Hey look at me: The effect of giving circles on giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 402-412.
    15. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
    16. Wolfgang Luhan & Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Group polarization in the team dictator game reconsidered," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 26-41, March.
    17. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    18. Quang Nguyen & Colin Camerer & Tomomi Tanaka, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences Linking Experimental and Household Data from Vietnam," Post-Print halshs-00547090, HAL.
    19. Lata Gangadharan & Nikos Nikiforakis & Marie Claire Villeval, 2015. "Equality concerns and the limits of self-governance in heterogeneous populations," Working Papers 1525, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    20. Stephen Cheung & Stefan Palan, 2012. "Two heads are less bubbly than one: team decision-making in an experimental asset market," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(3), pages 373-397, September.
    21. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2009. "Making the World a better Place: Experimental evidence from the generosity Game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-071, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    22. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:143-156 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Jingjing Zhang & Marco Casari, 2012. "How Groups Reach Agreement In Risky Choices: An Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 502-515, April.
    24. Matthias Sutter & Martin G. Kocher & Sabine Strauss, 2009. "Individuals and teams in auctions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 380-394, April.
    25. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational” Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
    26. Björn Bartling & Ferdinand A. von Siemens, 2010. "Equal Sharing Rules in Partnerships," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 166(2), pages 299-320, June.
    27. David Masclet & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Punishment, inequality, and welfare: a public good experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(3), pages 475-502, October.
    28. He, Haoran & Martinsson, Peter & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Group decision making under risk: An experiment with student couples," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 691-693.
    29. RobertS. Shupp & ArlingtonW. Williams, 2008. "Risk preference differentials of small groups and individuals," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 258-283, January.
    30. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    31. Dannenberg, Astrid & Riechmann, Thomas & Sturm, Bodo & Vogt, Carsten, 2007. "Inequity Aversion and Individual Behavior in Public Good Games: An Experimental Investigation," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-034, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    32. Müller, Wieland & Tan, Fangfang, 2013. "Who acts more like a game theorist? Group and individual play in a sequential market game and the effect of the time horizon," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 658-674.
    33. Roman Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2010. "Can groups solve the problem of over-bidding in contests?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(2), pages 175-197, July.
    34. David Reinstein & Gerhard Riener, 2012. "Reputation and influence in charitable giving: an experiment," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 221-243, February.
    35. M. Casari & J. Zhang & C. Jackson, 2011. "When Do Groups Perform Better than Individuals? A Company Takeover Experiment," Working Papers wp763, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    36. Stahlberg, Dagmar & Eller, Frank & Maass, Anne & Frey, Dieter, 1995. "We Knew It All Along: Hindsight Bias in Groups," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 46-58, July.
    37. Ivo Bischoff & Thomas Krauskopf, 2013. "Motives of pro-social behavior in individual versus collective decisions – a comparative experimental study," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201319, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    38. Ronald Bosman & Heike Hennig-Schmidt & Frans Winden, 2006. "Exploring group decision making in a power-to-take experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(1), pages 35-51, April.
    39. James Cox & Stephen Hayne, 2006. "Barking up the right tree: Are small groups rational agents?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(3), pages 209-222, September.
    40. Kugler, Tamar & Bornstein, Gary & Kocher, Martin G. & Sutter, Matthias, 2007. "Trust between individuals and groups: Groups are less trusting than individuals but just as trustworthy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 646-657, December.
    41. Song, Fei, 2009. "Intergroup trust and reciprocity in strategic interactions: Effects of group decision-making mechanisms," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 164-173, January.
    42. Fahr, René & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2011. "Who follows the crowd—Groups or individuals?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 200-209.
    43. Axel Franzen & Sonja Pointner, 2013. "Giving according to preferences: Decision-making in the group dictator game," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 2, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences, revised 24 Jan 2014.
    44. Bjorn Bartling & Ernst Fehr & Michel Andre Marechal & Daniel Schunk, 2009. "Egalitarianism and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 93-98, May.
    45. Reuben, Ernesto & Riedl, Arno, 2013. "Enforcement of contribution norms in public good games with heterogeneous populations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 122-137.
    46. Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Individual versus group behavior and the role of the decision making procedure in gift-exchange experiments," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 63-88, March.
    47. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
    48. Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2011. "Payment Choice, Image Motivation and Contributions to Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 180-205, February.
    49. Adriaan Soetevent, 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context-a field experiment in thirty churches," Framed Field Experiments 00198, The Field Experiments Website.
    50. Tamar Kugler & Edgar E. Kausel & Martin G. Kocher, 2012. "Are Groups more Rational than Individuals? A Review of Interactive Decision Making in Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 3701, CESifo Group Munich.
    51. Robert, Christopher & Carnevale, Peter J., 1997. "Group Choice in Ultimatum Bargaining," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 256-279, November.
    52. Gangadharan, Lata & Nikiforakis, Nikos & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2017. "Normative conflict and the limits of self-governance in heterogeneous populations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 143-156.
    53. Nikiforakis, Nikos & Noussair, Charles N. & Wilkening, Tom, 2012. "Normative conflict and feuds: The limits of self-enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 797-807.
    54. Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Mathauschek, Barbara, 2007. "Teams take the better risks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 412-422, July.
    55. Ronald J. Baker II & Susan K. Laury & Arlington W. Williams, 2008. "Comparing Small-Group and Individual Behavior in Lottery-Choice Experiments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 367-382, October.
    56. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans Theo, 2011. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 321-338, June.
    57. Blinder, Alan S & Morgan, John, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better than One? Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 789-811, October.
    58. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
    59. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences: Linking Experimental and Household Survey Data from Vietnam," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 557-571, March.
    60. 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.
    61. Gillet, Joris & Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 2009. "The tragedy of the commons revisited: The importance of group decision-making," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 785-797, June.
    62. Kerschbamer, Rudolf, 2015. "The geometry of distributional preferences and a non-parametric identification approach: The Equality Equivalence Test," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 85-103.
    63. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
    64. Beranek, Benjamin & Cubitt, Robin & Gächter, Simon, 2015. "Stated and Revealed Inequality Aversion in Three Subject Pools," IZA Discussion Papers 8954, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    65. Yang, Yang & Onderstal, Sander & Schram, Arthur, 2016. "Inequity aversion revisited," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 1-16.
    66. Sniezek, Janet A., 1992. "Groups under uncertainty: An examination of confidence in group decision making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 124-155, June.
    67. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-457, March.
    68. 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.
    69. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-1483, September.
    70. Gary Charness & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Groups Make Better Self-Interested Decisions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 157-176, Summer.
    71. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2005. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context--a field experiment in 30 churches," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2301-2323, December.
    72. Gary E. Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 2006. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1906-1911, December.
    73. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Group; Inequality aversion; Preference aggregation; Social image; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:111-124. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.