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Altruism and fairness in experimental decisions

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  • Kohler, Stefan

Abstract

Experimental evidence from dictator games and simple choice situations indicates concerns for fairness and social welfare in human decision making. At the same time, models of inequality averse agents fail to explain the experimental data of individuals who reduce their payoff below a fair split in order to maximize social welfare. This paper presents a linear model of altruism and inequality aversion which reconciles inequality aversion with departures from distributional fairness if welfare is thereby gained. It also establishes a unique link between altruism and interest in social welfare in the proposed model.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohler, Stefan, 2011. "Altruism and fairness in experimental decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 101-109.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:80:y:2011:i:1:p:101-109
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.02.014
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2013. "Reference dependent altruism in demand bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 127-140.
    2. Christian Thoeni & Simon Gaechter, 2011. "Peer Effects and Social Preferences in Voluntary Cooperation," Discussion Papers 2011-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    3. Kohler, Stefan, 2013. "Inequality aversion causes equal or unequal division in alternating-offer bargaining," MPRA Paper 40764, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Stefan Kohler, 2014. "Guilt causes equal or unequal division in alternating-offer bargaining," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 1611-1617.
    5. Stefan Kohler, 2012. "Incomplete Information about Social Preferences Explains Equal Division and Delay in Bargaining," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-19, September.
    6. Aurélie Bonein, 2006. "An empirical study of determinants in decision-making process," Working Papers 06-10, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Oct 2006.
    7. Stefan Kohler, 2006. "Inequality Aversion and Stochastic Decision-making: Experimental Evidence from Zimbabwean Villages after Land Reform," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-061, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Pelligra, Vittorio & Stanca, Luca, 2013. "To give or not to give? Equity, efficiency and altruistic behavior in an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-9.
    9. Kohler, Stefan, 2012. "Envy can promote more equal division in alternating-offer bargaining," MPRA Paper 40761, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2011. "Ultimata bargaining: generosity without social motives," MPRA Paper 33613, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioral game theory; Efficiency; Inequality aversion; Other-regarding preferences; Social preferences; Welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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