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Institutional framing and perceptions of fairness

  • R. Isaac
  • Deborah Mathieu
  • Edward Zajac

This paper's goal is to construct a positive theory of economic fairness. Using the theoretical schema developed by Hurwicz and others, the paper makes precise the notions of an “institution,” “fairness fraiming,” and “institutional framing.” Four fairness propositions yield an important corollary: the economic environment, the operative institution and history give meaning to the often used FORMAL PRINCIPLE OF DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE (“equals should be treated equally, and unequals unequellay, in proportion to relevant similarities and differences”). We support these four propositions and corollary by an analysis of laboratory, survey, and anecdotal evidence. Finally we describe a number of areas for future research. Copyright George Mason University 1991

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 2 (1991)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 329-370

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Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:2:y:1991:i:3:p:329-370
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  1. Elizabeth Hoffman & Matthew Spitzer, 1981. "The Coase Theorem: Some Experimental Tests," Discussion Papers 470, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  3. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  4. David Kreps & Paul Milgrom & John Roberts & Bob Wilson, 2010. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Levine's Working Paper Archive 239, David K. Levine.
  5. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  6. Binmore, K & Shaked, A & Sutton, J, 1985. "Testing Noncooperative Bargaining Theory: A Preliminary Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1178-80, December.
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