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

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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, 2013. "Fairness through the Lens of Cooperative Game Theory: An Experimental Approach," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1925, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1925
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    Cited by:

    1. Gharad Bryan & Jonathan de Quidt & Tom Wilkening & Nitin Yadav, 2017. "Land Trade and Development: A Market Design Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 6557, CESifo Group Munich.
    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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cooperative game theory; Fairness; Experiment;

    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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