4 Dec 2009

Academics continue to discover the obvious

"Our studies show that people judge behavior as more unethical when (1) identifiable versus unidentifiable victims are involved and (2) the behavior leads to a negative rather than a positive outcome."

"In two experiments, we find that non-binding talk of fairness within a three-party, complete-information game leads toward off-equilibrium, equal division payoffs, while non-binding talk focusing on competitive reasoning moves parties away from equal divisions."

These are Harvard Business School working papers. Any questions?

Addendum: If you want relevant academic work, read this:
does a history of playing an inefficient equilibrium make it harder for the players to reach the efficient equilibrium? In other words, can people 'get stuck' in bad equilibria? ... I implement randomized control to establish that precedent effects are important, but that natural occurring variation exaggerates the importance of precedent. I present evidence that some of the endogeneity of naturally occurring precedents is due to variation in risk-attitudes. This is because in the coordination games used, the inefficient equilibrium is associated with a safe strategy.
Hear that water folks? Inefficient in the past is used today because it's "safe." [I know Omar, btw.]

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