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A Bargaining Experiment to Motivate Discussion on Fairness

  • David L. Dickinson

The author presents a classroom version of the popular research game called the Ultimatum Game. Researchers are placing growing importance on how fairness affects behavior, and this experiment provides a useful, fun, and engaging way in which a day or two of class time can be spent on the topic. The appendix contains all of the materials necessary to conduct this experiment, and the experiment can highlight several items of interest for the instructor. First, different individuals place different subjective weights on concerns for fairness versus money. Second, theories that incorporate concerns for fairness into agents' preferences can often explain behavior better than those that do not. Finally, when it is relatively cheap to purchase fairness (or equality) individuals purchase more of it. The classroom results can motivate discussion of a downward sloping demand curve for fairness.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00220480209596463
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of Economic Education.

Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 136-151

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:33:y:2002:i:2:p:136-151
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