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Would You Mind if I Get More? An Experimental Study of the Envy Game

  • Sandro Casal

    (School of Social Sciences, University of Trento)

  • Werner Güth

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • Mofei Jia

    (School of Social Sciences, University of Trento)

  • Matteo Ploner

    ()

    (DECO-CEEL, University of Trento)

Envy is often the cause of mutually harmful outcomes. We experimentally study the impact of envy in a bargaining setting in which there is no conflict in material interests: a proposer, holding the role of residual claimant, chooses the size of the pie to be shared with a responder, whose share is exogenously fixed. Responders can accept or reject the proposal, with game types differing in the consequences of rejection: all four combinations of (not) self-harming and (not) other-harming are considered. We find that envy leads responders to reject high proposer claims, especially when rejection harms the proposer. Notwithstanding, maximal claims by proposers are predominant for all game types. This generates conflict and results in a considerable loss of efficiency.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2011-051.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2011-051
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