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The Self-serving Bias and Beliefs about Rationality

Author

Listed:
  • Todd R. Kaplan
  • Bradley J. Ruffle

Abstract

Most previous experiments attempting to establish the existence of the self-serving bias have confounded it with strategic behavior. We design an experiment that controls for strategic behavior (Haman effects) and isolates the bias itself. The self-serving bias that we measure concerns beliefs about the rationality of others. We find very limited support for the existence of the bias. To help understand why the bias seems to hold in some settings but not in others, we discuss a distinction between biases that are self-serving and those that are actually self-defeating. (JEL C92) Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Todd R. Kaplan & Bradley J. Ruffle, 2004. "The Self-serving Bias and Beliefs about Rationality," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 237-246, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:42:y:2004:i:2:p:237-246
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbh057
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Asheim, Geir B. & Helland, Leif & Hovi, Jon & Hoyland, Bjorn, 2008. "Self-serving Dictators," Memorandum 26/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Otto, Philipp E. & Bolle, Friedel, 2015. "Exploiting one’s power with a guilty conscience: An experimental investigation of self-serving biases," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 79-89.
    3. Muren, Astri, 2004. "Unrealistic Optimism about Exogenous Events: An Experimental Test," Research Papers in Economics 2004:1, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    4. Marco Bertini & Daniel Halbheer & Oded Koenigsberg, 2013. " Self-Serving Behavior in Price-Quality Competition," Working Papers 334, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    5. Alan Schwartz, 2008. "How Much Irrationality Does the Market Permit?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 131-159, January.
    6. Alewell, Dorothea & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2009. "Wage differentials and social comparison: An experimental study of interrelated ultimatum bargaining," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 210-220, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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