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Social status and bargaining when resources are scarce: Evidence from a field lab experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Ben D'Exelle

    (CBESS, University of East Anglia)

  • Els Lecoutere

    (Ghent University)

  • Bjorn Van Campenhout

    (University of Antwerp)

Abstract

This paper studies how individual social status influences bilateral bargaining in small-scale societies where resources are scarce. It reports the results of a field lab experiment with members of irrigation schemes who participate either as water distributors or receivers. Our results indicate that social status influences bargaining behavior in two ways. First, with social status being positively correlated with economic wealth, our results confirm a self-serving bias in fairness conceptions. Second, social status influences how receivers react to the received share as well as how distributors adapt their distributive decisions after the receivers' reaction. We also highlight implications of the results for the efficient use of scarce resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben D'Exelle & Els Lecoutere & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2010. "Social status and bargaining when resources are scarce: Evidence from a field lab experiment," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-09, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:10-09
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    File URL: https://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/166500/14307614/CBESS-10-09.pdf/7ab7f7ad-5e8d-419f-a252-d75c2b93c501
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    References listed on IDEAS

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