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Fairness and the Optimal Allocation of Ownership Rights

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

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.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 11.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:11
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  1. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Alexander Klein & Klaus Schmidt, 2004. "Contracts, Fairness, and Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 1215, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Schmitz, Patrick W., 1999. "Know-how disclosure and incomplete contracts," MPRA Paper 12533, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Two Remarks on the Property-Rights Literature," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 139-49, January.
  7. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, March.
  9. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity - Evidence and Economic Applications," CEPR Discussion Papers 2703, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Is There a Hold-up Problem?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 475-494, October.
  11. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  12. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Georg Noeldeke & Klaus Schmidt, 1998. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 633-653, Winter.
  14. Dufwenberg, M. & Kirchsteiger, G., 1998. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Discussion Paper 1998-37, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  15. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  16. Gary E Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 1997. "A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1889, David K. Levine.
  17. Maija Halonen, 2002. "Reputation And The Allocation Of Ownership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 539-558, July.
  18. Hessel Oosterbeek & Joep Sonnemans & Susan van Velzen, 2003. "The need for marriage contracts: An experimental study," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 431-453, 08.
  19. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  20. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  21. Hackett, Steven C, 1994. "Is Relational Exchange Possible in the Absence of Reputations and Repeated Contact?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 360-89, October.
  22. Gantner, Anita & Guth, Werner & Konigstein, Manfred, 2001. "Equitable choices in bargaining games with joint production," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 209-225, October.
  23. Pierre André Chiappori & Bernard Salanié, 2002. "Testing Contract Theory: A Survey of Some Recent Work," CESifo Working Paper Series 738, CESifo Group Munich.
  24. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
  25. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000143, David K. Levine.
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