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How to be kind? Outcomes versus Intentions as Determinants of Fairness

Luca Stanca ()

No 145, Working Papers from University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper presents an experimental analysis of the role of out comes and intentions for fair behavior. We consider a symmetric version of the gift-exchange game in a 2x2 design with two treatment variables: intentionality (¯rst mover's choice is either intentional or randomly determined) and outcome (¯rst mover's choice is either costly or free, ie compensated by the experimenter). The four treatments differ with respect to the presence-absence of intentionality and cost for the ¯rst mover, whereas the outcome of the ¯rst mover's action for the second mover's payo® is kept constant across treatments. The results indicate that intentions do not matter for fair behavior, whereas outcomes do matter. In particular, the effect of outcomes is due to concerns for distributional fairness, whereas there is no evidence of an intention-based role for outcomes through signalling kindness.

Keywords: Reciprocity; Export; Intentions; Laboratory Experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 C78 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-soc
Date: 2008-07, Revised 2008-07
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http://repec.dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper145.pdf First version, 2008 (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: How to be kind? Outcomes versus intentions as determinants of fairness (2010) Downloads
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