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On the nature of fair behavior and its development with age –

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  • Matthias Sutter

Abstract

Economic decisions have been shown to depend on actual outcomes as well as perceived intentions. In this paper, we examine whether and how the relative importance of outcomes or intentions for economic decision develops with age. We report the result of ultimatum games with children, teens and students. We find that children and teens react systematically to perceived intentions, like students do. However, children and teens reject unequal offers much more often than students, indicating that outcomes are relatively more important than intentions for younger subjects.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Sutter, 2003. "On the nature of fair behavior and its development with age –," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-25, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2003-25
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    File URL: ftp://papers.econ.mpg.de/esi/discussionpapers/2003-25.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-869.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    3. Harbaugh, William T & Krause, Kate, 2000. "Children's Altruism in Public Good and Dictator Experiments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(1), pages 95-109, January.
    4. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
    5. Murnighan, J. Keith & Saxon, Michael Scott, 1998. "Ultimatum bargaining by children and adults," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 415-445.
    6. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2000. "Hot vs. Cold: Sequential Responses and Preference Stability in Experimental Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(3), pages 227-238, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Matthias Sutter & Martin Kocher, 2004. "Age And The Development Of Trust And Reciprocity," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 105, Royal Economic Society.
    9. Burnham, Terence & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L., 2000. "Friend-or-foe intentionality priming in an extensive form trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 57-73, September.
    10. Nelson, William Jr., 2002. "Equity or intention: it is the thought that counts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 423-430, August.
    11. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fairness; intentions; ultimatum game; children; age;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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