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How to be kind? Outcomes versus Intentions as Determinants of Fairness

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  • Luca Stanca

Abstract

This paper presents an experimental analysis of the role of out comes and intentions for fair behavior. We consider a symmetric version of the gift-exchange game in a 2x2 design with two treatment variables: intentionality (¯rst mover's choice is either intentional or randomly determined) and outcome (¯rst mover's choice is either costly or free, ie compensated by the experimenter). The four treatments differ with respect to the presence-absence of intentionality and cost for the ¯rst mover, whereas the outcome of the ¯rst mover's action for the second mover's payo® is kept constant across treatments. The results indicate that intentions do not matter for fair behavior, whereas outcomes do matter. In particular, the effect of outcomes is due to concerns for distributional fairness, whereas there is no evidence of an intention-based role for outcomes through signalling kindness.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Stanca, 2008. "How to be kind? Outcomes versus Intentions as Determinants of Fairness," Working Papers 145, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:145
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    Cited by:

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    2. Giovanni Bartolomeo & Stefano Papa, 2016. "Trust and reciprocity: extensions and robustness of triadic design," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 100-115, March.
    3. Bierbrauer, Felix & Netzer, Nick, 2016. "Mechanism design and intentions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 557-603.
    4. Federica VIGANO & Andrea SALUSTRI, 2015. "Matching profit and Non-profit Needs: How NPOs and Cooperative Contribute to Growth in Time of Crisis. A Quantitative Approach," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 157-178, March.
    5. Stanca, Luca, 2010. "How to be kind? Outcomes versus intentions as determinants of fairness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 19-21, January.
    6. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2011. "Dare per avere e dare per dare: due universi paralleli," wp.comunite 0080, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    7. Luigino Bruni & Fabio Tufano, 2017. "The value of vulnerability: The transformative capacity of risky trust," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 12(4), pages 408-414, July.
    8. Garret Ridinger, 2021. "Intentions versus Outcomes: Cooperation and Fairness in a Sequential Prisoner’s Dilemma with Nature," Games, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-30, July.
    9. Jiaojie Han & Amnon Rapoport & Rui Zhao, 2017. "Inequity-aversion and relative kindness intention jointly determine the expenditure of effort in project teams," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(5), pages 1-23, May.
    10. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2013. "Measuring trust, reciprocity and altruism by counterfactuals," wp.comunite 0099, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    11. Pan, Xiaofei & Xiao, Erte, 2016. "It’s not just the thought that counts: An experimental study on the hidden cost of giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 22-31.
    12. Sezer, Ovul & Zhang, Ting & Gino, Francesca & Bazerman, Max H., 2016. "Overcoming the outcome bias: Making intentions matter," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 13-26.
    13. Luca Stanca, 2011. "Social science and neuroscience: how can they inform each other?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 58(3), pages 243-256, September.
    14. Peter Cappelli & Martin Conyon & David Almeda, 2020. "Social Exchange and the Effects of Employee Stock Options," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 73(1), pages 124-152, January.
    15. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2012. "The triadic design to identify trust and reciprocity: Extensions and robustness," wp.comunite 0096, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reciprocity; Export; Intentions; Laboratory Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    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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