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The Sharing Game: Fairness in resource allocation as a function of incentive, gender, and recipient types

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  • Arthur Kennelly
  • Edmund Fantino

Abstract

Economic games involving allocation of resources have been a useful tool for the study of decision making for both psychologists and economists. In two experiments involving a repeated-trials game over twenty opportunities, undergraduates made choices to distribute resources between themselves and an unseen, passive other either optimally (for themselves) but non-competitively, equally but non-optimally, or least optimally but competitively. Surprisingly, whether participants were told that the anonymous other was another student or a computer did not matter. Using such terms as ``game'' and ``player'' in the course of the session was associated with an increased frequency of competitive interaction was found in the first experiment. In agreement with prior research, participants whose resources were backed by monetary incentive acted the most optimally. Overall, equality was the modal strategy employed, although it is clear that motivational context affects the allocation of resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur Kennelly & Edmund Fantino, 2007. "The Sharing Game: Fairness in resource allocation as a function of incentive, gender, and recipient types," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 2, pages 204-216, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:2:y:2007:i::p:204-216
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charness, Gary & haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2001. "Social Distance and Reciprocity: The Internet vs. the Laboratory," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3dt073wb, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-869.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
    5. Handgraaf, Michel J. J. & van Dijk, Eric & Wilke, Henk A. M. & Vermunt, Riel C., 2003. "The salience of a recipient's alternatives: Inter- and intrapersonal comparison in ultimatum games," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 165-177, January.
    6. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 166-193.
    7. 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.
    8. Walters, Amy E. & Stuhlmacher, Alice F. & Meyer, Lia L., 1998. "Gender and Negotiator Competitiveness: A Meta-analysis," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-29, October.
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