Wednesday, April 14, 2010

disinterested allocations

In the huge literature on social preferences there is shockingly little research exploiting disinterested allocation decisions, which de-confounds ideas of fairness from self-interest.

When these experiments are done, either there is no difference between the recipients in the eyes of the decision maker, or one recipient has "earned" his role. Is there anything exactly like the dictator game, where one person is provisionally allocated some amount, and then a third party can decide to reallocate any amount of it to the other person?

If people are loss averse, and know that people are loss averse, and have fairness preferences over outcomes rather than allocations, the fair outcome would be to give less than half of the pot to the other person. I wonder if that ever happens. I doubt it, but it would be cool...