IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Distributive and reciprocal fairness: What can we learn from the heterogeneity of social preferences?

  • Kamas, Linda
  • Preston, Anne
Registered author(s):

    This study evaluates people’s concerns for distributive fairness (equality of outcomes and payoffs to those worse-off) and reciprocal fairness (receiving what one is due based on one’s past actions) using dictator, ultimatum, and trust games. In the dictator games we classify individuals’ preferences as self-interested, inequity averse, efficiency maximizing, or compassionate social surplus maximizing. We find that the different utility functions of the social preference types guide participants’ behavior in the ultimatum and trust games. The self-interested and efficiency maximizers make the lowest offers in the ultimatum game, are least likely to reject a low offer in the ultimatum game, and send back the least amount in the trust game. Consistent with the goal of maximizing the sum of payoffs however, efficiency maximizers and compassionate social surplus maximizers make the highest offers in the trust game, and in attempts to ensure equal outcomes, inequity averters make low offers. Because those classified as self-interested or efficiency maximizing do not exhibit concern for pure distributive fairness, we identify positive offers as first movers in both games as evidence of expectations of reciprocity by second movers and some choices as second movers as clear evidence of their own concerns for reciprocal fairness. Furthermore, we find strong evidence supporting general concern for reciprocal fairness in the trust games where the modal response of second movers in all preference groups is to equalize payments across participants.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167487011001772
    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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 538-553

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:538-553
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2003. "Is fairness used instrumentally? Evidence from sequential bargaining," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 467-489, August.
    3. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Ray Fisman & Shachar Kariv & Daniel Markovits, 2006. "Individual Preferences for Giving," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000468, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
    6. Nicole M. Baran & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2010. "Can we infer social preferences from the lab? Evidence from the trust game," NBER Working Papers 15654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Fehr, Ernst & Naef, Michael & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2006. "Inequality aversion, efficiency, and maximin preferences in simple distribution experiments: Comment," Munich Reprints in Economics 20639, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    8. Vyrastekova, J. & Garikipati, S., 2005. "Beliefs and Trust : An Experiment," Discussion Paper 2005-88, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Steven Gjerstad, 2006. "A Tractable Model of Reciprocity and Fairness," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-05, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    10. Altmann, Steffen & Dohmen, Thomas & Wibral, Matthias, 2008. "Do the reciprocal trust less?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 454-457, June.
    11. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "On the Nature of Fair Behavior," IEW - Working Papers 017, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    12. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
    13. Jim C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2005. "Revealed Altruism," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000595, UCLA Department of Economics.
    14. Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," Staff General Research Papers 1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    15. Charness, Gary B, 2004. "Attribution And Reciprocity In An Experimental Labor Market," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt8rp6b18c, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    16. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
    17. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    18. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
    19. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine & van Soest, Arthur, 2011. "Preferences, intentions, and expectation violations: A large-scale experiment with a representative subject pool," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 349-365, May.
    20. Offerman, Theo, 2002. "Hurting hurts more than helping helps," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1423-1437, September.
    21. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2006. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1918-1923, December.
    22. Mathias Erlei, 2003. "Heterogeneous Social Preferences," TUC Working Papers in Economics 0001, Abteilung für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Clausthal (Department of Economics, Technical University Clausthal), revised Jun 2004.
    23. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
    24. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    25. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2008. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 2491, CESifo Group Munich.
    26. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
    27. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 1996. "Value Orientations, Expectations and Voluntary Contributions in Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 817-45, July.
    28. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
    29. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 35-54, April.
    30. Blount, Sally, 1995. "When Social Outcomes Aren't Fair: The Effect of Causal Attributions on Preferences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 131-144, August.
    31. Gary Charness & David I. Levine, 2007. "Intention and Stochastic Outcomes: An Experimental study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1051-1072, 07.
    32. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs, 2008. "Testing theories of fairness--Intentions matter," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 287-303, January.
    33. Brian Roe & Steven Y. Wu, 2005. "Social Preferences and Relational Contracting Performance: An Experimental Investigation," Microeconomics 0509006, EconWPA.
    34. Brandts, J. & Sola, C., 1998. "Reference Points and Negative Reciprocity in Simple Sequential Games," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 425.98, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    35. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2010. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," DICE Discussion Papers 06, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    36. Kiridaran Kanagaretnam & Stuart Mestelman & Khalid Nainar & Mohamed Shehata, 2009. "The Impact of Social Value Orientation and Risk Attitudes on Trust and Reciprocity," Department of Economics Working Papers 2008-06, McMaster University.
    37. James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2005. "On the Nature of Reciprocal Motives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 623-635, July.
    38. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
    39. Johnson, Noel D. & Mislin, Alexandra A., 2011. "Trust games: A meta-analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 865-889.
    40. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
    41. Ananish Chaudhuri, 2011. "Sustaining cooperation in laboratory public goods experiments: a selective survey of the literature," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 47-83, March.
    42. 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.
    43. Ananish Chaudhuri & Lata Gangadharan, 2007. "An Experimental Analysis of Trust and Trustworthiness," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 959–985, April.
    44. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:538-553. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.