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Fairness and the Optimal Allocation of Ownership Rights

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  • Fehr, Ernst
  • Kremhelmer, Susanne
  • Schmidt, Klaus M.

Abstract

Lecture on the first SFB/TR 15 meeting, Gummersbach, July, 18 - 20, 2004We report on several experiments on the optimal allocation of ownership rights. The experiments confirm the property rights approach by showing that the ownership structure affects relationship-specific investments and that the subjects achieve the most efficient ownership allocation starting from different initial conditions. However, in contrast to the property rights approach, the most efficient ownership structure is joint ownership. These results are neither consistent with the self-interest model nor with models that assume that all people behave fairly, but they can be explained by the theory of inequity aversion that focuses on the interaction between selfish and fair players.

Suggested Citation

  • Fehr, Ernst & Kremhelmer, Susanne & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2004. "Fairness and the Optimal Allocation of Ownership Rights," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 11, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ownership Rights; Double Moral Hazard; Fairness; Reciprocity; Incomplete Contracts;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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