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On the Malleability of Fairness Ideals: Order Effects in Partial and Impartial Allocation Tasks

Author

Listed:
  • Kathrin Dengler-Roscher

    (Institute of Economics, Ulm University, Germany)

  • Natalia Montinari

    (Department of Economics, Lund University, Sweden)

  • Marian Panganiban

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn and Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany)

  • Matteo Ploner

    (Department of Economics and Management University of Trento, Italy)

  • Benedikt Werner

    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn and Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany)

Abstract

How malleable are people's fairness ideals? Although fairness is an oft-invoked concept in allocation situations, it is still unclear whether and to what extent people's allocations reflect their fairness ideals. We investigate in a laboratory experiment whether people's fairness ideals vary with respect to changes in the order in which they undertake two allocation tasks. Participants first generate resources in a real- effort task and then distribute them. In the partial allocation task, the participant determines the earnings for himself and another participant. In the impartial allocation task, the participant determines the earnings for two other participants. We also manipulate the participants' experience, i.e, whether they took part in similar allocation experiments before. We find that participants are more likely to allocate more resources to themselves than what they earned in the real-effort task when they decide partially. Exclusively for inexperienced participants, deciding impartially first dampens selfish behavior when they decide partially.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathrin Dengler-Roscher & Natalia Montinari & Marian Panganiban & Matteo Ploner & Benedikt Werner, 2015. "On the Malleability of Fairness Ideals: Order Effects in Partial and Impartial Allocation Tasks," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-006, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2015-006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Astrid Matthey & Tobias Regner, 2013. "On the independence of history: experience spill-overs between experiments," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(3), pages 403-419, September.
    3. Rustichini, Aldo & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "Moral hypocrisy, power and social preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 10-24.
    4. Erin L. Krupka & Roberto A. Weber, 2013. "Identifying Social Norms Using Coordination Games: Why Does Dictator Game Sharing Vary?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 495-524, June.
    5. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    6. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
    7. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
    8. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    9. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nives Della Valle & Matteo Ploner, 2017. "Reacting to Unfairness: Group Identity and Dishonest Behavior," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-19, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fairness; proportionality principle; dictator; partial stakeholders; impartial spectators; fairness bias;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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