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The consistency of fairness rules: An experimental study

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  • Ubeda, Paloma

Abstract

This paper studies individual consistency in the use of fairness rules, together with the role of self-serving bias in decision-making. We likewise attempt to characterize the different decision-making processes associated with the two types of self-interested behavior (pure selfish and self-serving). We use a within-subject design, which allows us to compare individual behavior when the context changes. In line with the literature, we find a multiplicity of fairness rules. However, the set of fairness rules is considerably smaller when we control for consistency. Only selfishness and strict egalitarianism seem to survive the stricter consistency requirements. We observe that this result is mainly explained by a self-serving bias. Additionally, we observe that faster decisions are self-interested and decisions dealing with moral trade-off are slower.

Suggested Citation

  • Ubeda, Paloma, 2014. "The consistency of fairness rules: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 88-100.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:41:y:2014:i:c:p:88-100
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2012.12.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Merkel, Anna & Lohse, Johannes, 2016. "Is fairness intuitive? An experiment accounting for the role of subjective utility differences under time pressure," Working Papers 0627, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    2. Miller, Luis & Ubeda, Paloma, 2012. "Are women more sensitive to the decision-making context?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 98-104.
    3. Sophie Harnay & Elisabeth Tovar, 2017. "Obeying vs. resisting unfair laws. A structural analysis of the internalization of collective preferences on redistribution using classification trees and random forests," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-34, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    4. Pedro Rey-Biel & Roman Sheremeta & Neslihan Uler, 2015. "When Income Depends on Performance and Luck: The Effects of Culture and Information on Giving," Working Papers 15-12, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    5. Gantner, Anita & Horn, Kristian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf, 2016. "Fair and efficient division through unanimity bargaining when claims are subjective," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 56-73.
    6. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9535-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. David A. Welch, 2017. "The Justice Motive in East Asia’s Territorial Disputes," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 71-92, January.
    8. repec:eee:soceco:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:112-126 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Deffains, Bruno & Espinosa, Romain & Thöni, Christian, 2016. "Political self-serving bias and redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 67-74.
    10. Goeschl, Timo & Kettner, Sara Elisa & Lohse, Johannes & Schwieren, Christiane, 2015. "What do we learn from public good games about voluntary climate action? Evidence from an artefactual field experiment," Working Papers 0595, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    11. Pedro Rey-Biel & Roman Sheremeta & Neslihan Uler, 2011. "(Bad) Luck or (Lack of) Effort?: Comparing Social Sharing Norms between US and Europe," Working Papers 584, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    12. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0029-z is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ismael Rodriguez-Lara & Luis Moreno-Garrido, 2012. "Modeling Inequity Aversion in a Dictator Game with Production," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 1-12, October.
    14. Goeschl, Timo & Lohse, Johannes, 2016. "Cooperation in Public Good Games. Calculated or Confused?," Working Papers 0626, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    15. Kingsley, David C., 2016. "Endowment heterogeneity and peer punishment in a public good experiment: Cooperation and normative conflict," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 49-61.
    16. Bruno Deffains & Romain Espinosa & Christian Thöni, 2016. "Political self-serving bias and redistribution," Post-Print halshs-01634208, HAL.
    17. Kesternich, Martin & Lange, Andreas & Sturm, Bodo, 2014. "On the performance of rule-based contribution schemes under endowment heterogeneity," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-055, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    18. Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael, 2016. "Equity and bargaining power in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 144-165.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Distributive justice; Fairness; Laboratory experiments; Self-serving bias; Consistency;

    JEL classification:

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

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