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Status quo effects in fairness games: reciprocal responses to acts of commission versus acts of omission

Author

Listed:
  • James C. Cox

    (Georgia State University)

  • Maroš Servátka

    (Macquarie Graduate School of Management
    University of Economics in Bratislava)

  • Radovan Vadovič

    (Carleton University)

Abstract

Both the law and culture distinguish between acts of commission that overturn the status quo and acts of omission that uphold it. This distinction is of central importance when it comes to reciprocal actions. A stylized fact of everyday life is that acts of commission elicit stronger reciprocal responses than do acts of omission. We report experiments that directly test whether this stylized fact characterizes behavior in controlled experiments. We compare reciprocal responses to both types of acts in experiments using binary, extensive form games. Across three experiments, we examine the robustness of our results to different ways in which the status quo can be induced in experiments. The data show a clear difference between effects of acts of commission and omission by first movers on reciprocal responses by second movers.

Suggested Citation

  • James C. Cox & Maroš Servátka & Radovan Vadovič, 2017. "Status quo effects in fairness games: reciprocal responses to acts of commission versus acts of omission," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 1-18, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9477-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-016-9477-0
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    3. Katarína Danková & Hodaka Morita & Maroš Servátka & Le Zhang, 2022. "Fairness concerns and job assignment to positions with different surplus," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 88(4), pages 1490-1516, April.
    4. Dickinson, David L. & Masclet, David, 2019. "Using ethical dilemmas to predict antisocial choices with real payoff consequences: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 195-215.
    5. Adrian Hillenbrand, 2018. "Cooperation with lists," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2018_01, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    6. Joseph Y. Halpern & Evan Piermont, 2020. "Dynamic Awareness," Papers 2007.02823, arXiv.org.
    7. Fochmann, Martin & Wolf, Nadja, 2019. "Framing and salience effects in tax evasion decisions – An experiment on underreporting and overdeducting," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 260-277.
    8. Danková, Katarína & Morita, Hodaka & Servátka, Maroš & Zhang, Le, 2019. "Job assignment and fairness concerns," MPRA Paper 95918, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Dickinson, David L. & McEvoy, David M. & Bruner, David M., 2022. "The impact of sleep restriction on interpersonal conflict resolution and the narcotic effect," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 194(C), pages 71-90.
    10. Miklánek, Tomáš, 2018. "Information Asymmetry and Exposure Effects in Dictator Games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 29-39.
    11. Ramalingam, Abhijit & Morales, Antonio J. & Walker, James M., 2019. "Peer punishment of acts of omission versus acts of commission in give and take social dilemmas," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 133-147.
    12. Czap, Hans J. & Czap, Natalia V. & Burbach, Mark E. & Lynne, Gary D., 2018. "Does Might Make Right? An Experiment on Assigning Property Rights," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 229-240.
    13. Timilsina, Raja R. & Kotani, Koji & Nakagawa, Yoshinori & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi, 2022. "Intragenerational deliberation and intergenerational sustainability dilemma," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    14. Daniel Woods & Maroš Servátka, 2019. "Nice to you, nicer to me: Does self-serving generosity diminish the reciprocal response?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(2), pages 506-529, June.
    15. Hodaka Morita & Maroš Servátka, 2018. "Investment in Outside Options as Opportunistic Behavior: An Experimental Investigation," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(2), pages 457-484, October.
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    17. Luzuriaga, Miguel & Heras, Antonio & Kunze, Oliver, 2020. "Hurting Others versus Hurting Myself, a Dilemma for Our Autonomous Vehicle," Review of Behavioral Economics, now publishers, vol. 7(1), pages 1-30, March.
    18. Robert Stüber, 2020. "The benefit of the doubt: willful ignorance and altruistic punishment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 23(3), pages 848-872, September.

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