The Impact of Fairness on Decision Making - An Analysis of Different Video Experiments
Experimentally observed deviations of behavior from game theoretic predictions suggest that fairness does influence decision making. Fairness in the sense of equality has become an essential element of economic models aiming at explaining actual behavior (cf. Fehr and Schmidt, 1999; Bolton and Ockenfels, 2000). In this paper I will argue that equality is not the only fairness norm to be taken into account. More equity norms than equality exist, including inequality of payoffs. Since inequitable payoff allocations are advantageous for the one player and disadvantageous for the other, subjects may fall prey to a self-serving bias in their fairness perceptions. Opponents may adhere to different conceptions of fairness making agreement impossible. Using the video method (Hennig-Schmidt, 1999) I further show in a bargaining experiment that behavior is goal-oriented. Fairness criteria based on equity norms guide the formation and adaptation of aspiration levels.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2000|
|Date of revision:||Feb 2002|
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- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, .
"A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation,"
IEW - Working Papers
004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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- Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
- Gary E Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 1997. "A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1889, David K. Levine.
- Babcock, Linda, et al, 1995. "Biased Judgments of Fairness in Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1337-43, December.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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