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Status Quo Effects in Fairness Games: Reciprocal Responses to Acts of Commission vs. Acts of Omission

  • James C. Cox
  • MaroÅ¡ Servátka
  • Radovan Vadovic

Both the law and culture make a central distinction between acts of commission that overturn the status quo and acts of omission that uphold it. In everyday life acts of commission often elicit stronger reciprocal responses than do acts of omission. In this paper we compare reciprocal responses to both types of acts and ask whether behavior of subjects in two experiments is consistent with existing theory. The design of the experiments focuses on the axioms of revealed altruism theory (Cox, Friedman, and Sadiraj, 2008) that make it observationally distinct from other theories, Axiom R (for reciprocity) and Axiom S (for status quo). We find support for this theory in both experiments.

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File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2012-03.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2013-06.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2013
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Paper provided by Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series with number 2012-03.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision: Aug 2013
Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2012-03
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  1. Juan Cárdenas & Nicolas Roux & Christian Jaramillo & Luis Martinez, 2014. "Is it my money or not? An experiment on risk aversion and the house-money effect," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 47-60, March.
  2. Strahilevitz, Michal A & Loewenstein, George, 1998. " The Effect of Ownership History on the Valuation of Objects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(3), pages 276-89, December.
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  6. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Steven Gjerstad, 2006. "A Tractable Model of Reciprocity and Fairness," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-05, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  7. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  8. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2006. "On Modeling Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-26, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  9. Gary Charness, 2004. "Attribution and Reciprocity in an Experimental Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 665-688, July.
  10. Cox, James C. & Friedman, Daniel & Sadiraj, Vjollca, 2009. "Revealed Altruism," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6rb5t4mc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
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  19. Oxoby, Robert J. & Spraggon, John, 2008. "Mine and yours: Property rights in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 703-713, March.
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