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Fairness Through the Lens of Cooperative Game Theory: An Experimental Approach

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  • Geoffroy De Clippel
  • Kareen Rozen

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates cooperative game theory from a normative perspective. Subjects designated as Decision Makers express their view on what is fair for others, by recommending a payoff allocation for three subjects (Recipients) whose substitutabilities and complementarities are captured by a characteristic function. We show that axioms and solution concepts from cooperative game theory provide valuable insights into the data. Axiomatic and regression analysis suggest that Decision Makers' choices can be (noisily) described as a convex combination of the Shapley value and equal split solution. A mixture model analysis, examining the distribution of Just Deserts indices describing how far one goes in the direction of the Shapley value, reveals heterogeneity across characteristic functions. Aggregating opinions by averaging, however, shows that the societal view of what is fair remains remarkably consistent across problems.
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  • Geoffroy De Clippel & Kareen Rozen, 2014. "Fairness Through the Lens of Cooperative Game Theory: An Experimental Approach," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000904, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:786969000000000904
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    2. Victor Aguiar & Roland Pongou & Jean-Baptiste Tondji, 2016. "Measuring and Decomposing the Distance to the Shapley Wage Function with Limited Data," Working Papers 1613e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    3. Aguiar, Victor H. & Pongou, Roland & Tondji, Jean-Baptiste, 2018. "A non-parametric approach to testing the axioms of the Shapley value with limited data," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 41-63.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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