IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/jeurec/v16y2018i2p316-352..html
   My bibliography  Save this article

What Makes a Price Fair? An Experimental Study of Transaction Experience and Endogenous Fairness Views

Author

Listed:
  • Holger Herz
  • Dmitry Taubinsky

Abstract

People’s fairness preferences are an important constraint for what constitutes an acceptable economic transaction, yet little is known about how these preferences are formed. In this paper, we provide clean evidence that previous transactions play an important role in shaping perceptions of fairness. Buyers used to high market prices, for example, are more likely to perceive high prices as fair than buyers used to low market prices. Similarly, employees used to high wages are more likely to perceive low wages as unfair. Our data further allows us to decompose this history-dependence into the effects of pure observation versus the experience of payoff-relevant outcomes. We propose two classes of models of path-dependent fairness preferences—either based on endogenous fairness reference points or based on shifts in salience—that can account for our data. Structural estimates of both types of models imply a substantial deviation from existing history-independent models of fairness. Our results have implications for price discrimination, labor markets, and dynamic pricing.

Suggested Citation

  • Holger Herz & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2018. "What Makes a Price Fair? An Experimental Study of Transaction Experience and Endogenous Fairness Views," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 316-352.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:16:y:2018:i:2:p:316-352.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeea/jvx011
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cason, Timothy N. & Savikhin, Anya C. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2012. "Behavioral spillovers in coordination games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 233-245.
    2. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Zacharias Maniadis, 2012. "On the Robustness of Anchoring Effects in WTP and WTA Experiments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 131-145, May.
    3. David Cooper & E. Dutcher, 2011. "The dynamics of responder behavior in ultimatum games: a meta-study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 519-546, November.
    4. Maniadis, Zacharias & Tufano, Fabio & List, John, 2013. "One swallow doesn’t make a summer: new evidence on anchoring effects," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1314, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    5. Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
    6. Bednar, Jenna & Chen, Yan & Liu, Tracy Xiao & Page, Scott, 2012. "Behavioral spillovers and cognitive load in multiple games: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 12-31.
    7. Skott, Peter, 2005. "Fairness as a source of hysteresis in employment and relative wages," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 305-331, July.
    8. Simonsohn, Uri & Karlsson, Niklas & Loewenstein, George & Ariely, Dan, 2008. "The tree of experience in the forest of information: Overweighing experienced relative to observed information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 263-286, January.
    9. Grimm, Veronika & Mengel, Friederike, 2012. "An experiment on learning in a multiple games environment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2220-2259.
    10. Brit Grosskopf, 2003. "Reinforcement and Directional Learning in the Ultimatum Game with Responder Competition," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 6(2), pages 141-158, October.
    11. Saurabh Bhargava & Ray Fisman, 2014. "Contrast Effects in Sequential Decisions: Evidence from Speed Dating," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 444-457, July.
    12. Bartling Björn & Grieder Manuel & Zehnder Christian, 2014. "Does competition justify inequality?," ECON - Working Papers 158, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Nov 2015.
    13. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    14. Holger Herz & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2013. "Market experience is a reference point in judgments of fairness," ECON - Working Papers 128, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    15. Zacharias Maniadis & Fabio Tufano & John A. List, 2014. "One Swallow Doesn't Make a Summer: New Evidence on Anchoring Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 277-290, January.
    16. Silverman, Dan & Slemrod, Joel & Uler, Neslihan, 2014. "Distinguishing the role of authority “in” and authority “to”," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 32-42.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fongoni, Marco & Dickson, Alex, 2015. "A Theory of Wage Setting Behavior," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-57, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. Marco Fongoni, 2018. "Workers' reciprocity and the (ir)relevance of wage cyclicality for the volatility of job creation," Working Papers 1809, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    3. Björn Bartling & Tobias Gesche & Nick Netzer, 2017. "Does the absence of human sellers bias bidding behavior in auction experiments?," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(1), pages 44-61, July.
    4. Dickson, Alex & Fongoni, Marco, 2019. "Asymmetric reference-dependent reciprocity, downward wage rigidity, and the employment contract," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 409-429.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:16:y:2018:i:2:p:316-352.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/eeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.