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Does equity induce inefficiency? An experiment on coordination

Mamadou Gueye (), Nicolas Querou () and Raphael Soubeyran ()
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Mamadou Gueye: CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier
Nicolas Querou: CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier

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Abstract: In this paper, we use a laboratory experiment to analyze the relationship between equity and coordination success in a game with Pareto ranked equilibria. Equity is decreased by increasing the coordination payoffs of some subjects while the coordination payoffs of others remain unchanged. Theoretically, in this setting, difference aversion may lead to a positive relationship between equity and coordination success, while social welfare motivations may lead to a negative relationship. Using a within-subject experimental design, we find that less equity unambiguously leads to a higher level of coordination success. Moreover, this result holds even for subjects whose payoffs remain unchanged. Our results suggest that social welfare motivations drives the negative relationship between equity and coordination success found in this experiment. Moreover, our data suggest that the order of treatment matters. Groups facing first the treatment with high inequality in coordination payoffs, then the treatment with low inequality in coordination payoffs, reach the Pareto dominant equilibrium more often in both treatments compared to groups playing first the treatment with low inequality in coordination payoffs, then the treatment with high inequality in coordination payoffs.

Keywords: coordination game; difference aversion; effciency; social welfare motivation; equity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-06-01
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.umontpellier.fr/hal-02100263
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Published in 52nd annual conference of the Canadian Economics Association, Jun 2018, Montreal, Canada

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