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Fair Procedures. Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries

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Abstract

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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  • Gary E. Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 2000. "Fair Procedures. Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 483.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:483.01
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    1. Bolton, Gary E. & Ockenfels, Axel, 2008. "Self-centered Fairness in Games with More Than Two Players," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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    Keywords

    Experimental economics; Motivations;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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