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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. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 1998. "Hot vs. cold: Sequential responses and preference stability in experimental games," Economics Working Papers 321, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Amartya Sen, 1996. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1766, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Binmore,K. & McCarthy,J. & Ponti,G. & ..., 1999. "A backward induction experiment," Working papers 34, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "Experimental Economics: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 264-72, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Nick Feltovich & John Duffy, 1999. "Does observation of others affect learning in strategic environments? An experimental study," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 131-152.
  8. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Andreoni,J. & Brown,P.M. & Vesterlund,L., 1999. "What makes an allocation fair? : Some experimental evidence," Working papers 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  15. Gary E. Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, . "Self-centered fairness in games with more than tow players," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-42, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  16. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. repec:dgr:kubcen:199837 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Schotter Andrew & Weigelt Keith & Wilson Charles, 1994. "A Laboratory Investigation of Multiperson Rationality and Presentation Effects," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 445-468, May.
  20. G. Bolton, 2010. "A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 263, David K. Levine.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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