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Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity - Evidence and Economic Applications


Fehr, Ernst; Schmidt, Klaus (2001). Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity - Evidence and Economic Applications. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 75, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Most economic models are based on the self-interest hypothesis that assumes that all people are exclusively motivated by their material self-interest. In recent years experimental economists have gathered overwhelming evidence that systematically refutes the self-interest hypothesis and suggests that many people are strongly motivated by concerns for fairness and reciprocity. Moreover, several theoretical papers have been written showing that the observed phenomena can be explained in a rigorous and tractable manner. These theories in turn induced a new wave of experimental research offering additional exciting insights into the nature of preferences and into the relative performance of competing theories of fairness. The purpose of this paper is to review these recent developments, to point out open questions, and to suggest avenues for future research.

Abstract

Most economic models are based on the self-interest hypothesis that assumes that all people are exclusively motivated by their material self-interest. In recent years experimental economists have gathered overwhelming evidence that systematically refutes the self-interest hypothesis and suggests that many people are strongly motivated by concerns for fairness and reciprocity. Moreover, several theoretical papers have been written showing that the observed phenomena can be explained in a rigorous and tractable manner. These theories in turn induced a new wave of experimental research offering additional exciting insights into the nature of preferences and into the relative performance of competing theories of fairness. The purpose of this paper is to review these recent developments, to point out open questions, and to suggest avenues for future research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:April 2001
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 21:26
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 12:50
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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