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Fair Procedures. Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries

Procedural fairness plays a prominent role in the social discourse concerning the marketplace in particular, and social institutions in general. Random procedures are a simple case, and they have found application in several important social allocation decisions. We investigate random procedures in the laboratory. We find that an unbiased random procedure is an acceptable substitute for an unbiased allocation: similar patterns of acceptance and rejection result when either is inserted as a feasible proposal in a sequential battle-of-the-sexes. We also find that unbiasedness, known to be a crucial characteristic of allocation fairness, is important to procedural fairness: in the context of a random offer game, a biased outcome is more readily accepted when chosen by an unbiased random draw than by one that is biased. Procedural fairness is conceptually different than allocation fairness or attribution-based behavior, and none of the current models of fairness and reciprocity captures our results. Post hoc extension of one of these models (ERC) suggests that a deeper understanding of procedural fairness requires further investigation of competing fairness norms.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 483.01.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:483.01
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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Brandts, J. & Charness, G., 1998. "Hot Vs. Cold: Sequential Responses and Preference Stability in Experimental Games," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 424.98, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. Bolton, Gary E. & Ockenfels, Axel, 2008. "Self-centered Fairness in Games with More Than Two Players," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  4. Gary Charness, 1996. "Attribution and reciprocity in a simulated labor market: An experimental investigation," Economics Working Papers 283, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 1997.
  5. Bolton, Gary E, 1991. "A Comparative Model of Bargaining: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1096-136, December.
  6. Sen, A., 1996. "Maximisation and the Act of Choice," Papers 270, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  7. 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.
  8. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2003. "On the Nature of Fair Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(1), pages 20-26, January.
  9. Andreoni,J. & Brown,P.M. & Vesterlund,L., 1999. "What makes an allocation fair? : Some experimental evidence," Working papers 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
  11. Abbink, Klaus & Gary Bolton & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Fang-Fang Tang, 1996. "Adaptive Learning versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining," Discussion Paper Serie B 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  12. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  13. Kagel, John H. & Kim, Chung & Moser, Donald, 1996. "Fairness in Ultimatum Games with Asymmetric Information and Asymmetric Payoffs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 100-110, March.
  14. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  15. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith & Wilson, Charles, 1990. "A Laboratory Investigation Of Multi-Person Rationality And Presentation Effects," Working Papers 90-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  16. John Duffy & Nick Feltovich, 1997. "Does Observation of Others Affect Learning in Strategic Environments? An Experimental Study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 592, David K. Levine.
  17. Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "Experimental Economics: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 264-72, March.
  18. David Cooper & Nick Feltovich & Alvin Roth & Rami Zwick, 2003. "Relative versus Absolute Speed of Adjustment in Strategic Environments: Responder Behavior in Ultimatum Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 181-207, October.
  19. Binmore, Ken & McCarthy, John & Ponti, Giovanni & Samuelson, Larry & Shaked, Avner, 2002. "A Backward Induction Experiment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 48-88, May.
  20. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
  21. Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S, 1997. " Fairness and Competence in Democratic Decisions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 89-105, April.
  22. Blount, Sally, 1995. "When Social Outcomes Aren't Fair: The Effect of Causal Attributions on Preferences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 131-144, August.
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