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Does Participation Increase Outcome Acceptance? Evidence from a Power-to-take Experiment

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  • Mertins Vanessa

    () (Professor of Business Administration and Social Services Management, University of Vechta, Driverstrasse 23, 49377 Vechta, Germany)

  • Albert Max

    (Chair of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, JLU Giessen, Licher Strasse 66, 35394 Giessen, Germany)

Abstract

It is often conjectured that participatory decision making may increase acceptance, especially of unfavorable decisions. The present paper tests this conjecture in a three-person power-to-take experiment. Two takers decide which fraction of the responder’s endowment to transfer to themselves; the responder decides which part of the endowment to destroy. Thus, responders can punish greedy takers, but only at a cost to themselves. We modify the game by letting the responder participate in takers’ transfer decisions and consider the effect of low/high levels of participation on the destruction rate. We find that participation matters, but only under special conditions: Responders with participation rights destroy significantly less only if they (1) have reciprocal inclinations, and (2) are confronted with highly unfavorable outcomes. Thus, in line with standard economic modeling and leading classes of behavioral theories, our data suggest that procedural effects of decision making are mostly negligible.

Suggested Citation

  • Mertins Vanessa & Albert Max, 2015. "Does Participation Increase Outcome Acceptance? Evidence from a Power-to-take Experiment," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(6), pages 584-607, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:235:y:2015:i:6:p:584-607
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Franke, Jörg & Gurtoviy, Ruslan & Mertins, Vanessa, 2016. "Workers’ participation in wage setting: A gift-exchange experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 151-162.

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