Working Papers, Department of Economics, Lund University
Fairness and Promises for Sale
() and Anders Daielson
Abstract: While many studies have shown that fairness matters few
efforts have been made to find out how important fairness is to the
individual and thereby assessing the limits of these fairness concerns.
This study reports on Trust game experiments in Sweden and Jamaica where
subjects could forego a more fair allocation in return for extra money. The
results indicate that 90 percent of subjects that had demonstrated fairness
ambitions were willing to let down their counterparts if compensated.
Explicit promises did not seem to matter. The first player was informed
that the second player could earn extra money by changing to an unfair
allocation. This modification appeared to make the trust aspect more
salient which can explain a relatively strong consistency between trust
behavior and answers to attitudinal trust questions.
Keywords: Experiments; trust game; fairness; inequality aversion; opportunism; promise; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C91; D63; D64; (follow links to similar papers)
54 pages, June 22, 2004, Revised August 15, 2005
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