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Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility


Bartling, Björn; Fischbacher, Urs (2008). Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 380, University of Zurich.

Abstract

To fully understand the motives for delegating a decision right, it is important to study responsibility attributions for outcomes of delegated decisions. We conducted an experiment in which subjects were able to delegate the choice between a fair or unfair allocation, and used a punishment option to elicit responsibility attributions. Our results show that, first, responsibility attribution can be effectively shifted and, second, this constitutes a powerful motive for the delegation of a decision right.nFurthermore, we propose a formal measure of responsibility and show thatnthis measure outperforms measures based on outcome or intention in predicting punishment behavior.

Abstract

To fully understand the motives for delegating a decision right, it is important to study responsibility attributions for outcomes of delegated decisions. We conducted an experiment in which subjects were able to delegate the choice between a fair or unfair allocation, and used a punishment option to elicit responsibility attributions. Our results show that, first, responsibility attribution can be effectively shifted and, second, this constitutes a powerful motive for the delegation of a decision right.nFurthermore, we propose a formal measure of responsibility and show thatnthis measure outperforms measures based on outcome or intention in predicting punishment behavior.

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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:July 2008
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 10:16
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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