Fairness and Persuasion. How Stakeholder Communication Affects Impartial Decision Making

21 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2014

See all articles by Marco Kleine

Marco Kleine

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Pascal Langenbach

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Lilia Zhurakhovska

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Duisburg-Essen

Date Written: March 1, 2014

Abstract

We study experimentally whether and to what extent impartial decision makers are influenced by stakeholders’ fairness opinions in an allocation decision. The setting allows for different focal fairness rules to be considered. We compare communication treatments, in which one of the stakeholders states his or her opinion prior to the allocation decision, to a baseline without communication opportunities. We find that stakeholders who state their opinion in the communication treatments are allocated significantly less money than their counterparts in the baseline. Asymmetric reactions to the statements appear to be the driving force behind this result: impartial decision makers deviate from their initial fairness judgment and follow stakeholders’ opinions only if the requests are moderate; they largely ignore high monetary claims. Our results contribute to understanding the underlying processes that may affect the decisions of judges, juries, arbitrators, referees, or other impartial decision makers in interaction with stakeholders.

Keywords: fairness, Norms, Communication, impartial decision maker, laboratory experiment, influence, persuasion

JEL Classification: D63, D02, K40, C91, D03

Suggested Citation

Kleine, Marco and Langenbach, Pascal and Zhurakhovska, Lilia, Fairness and Persuasion. How Stakeholder Communication Affects Impartial Decision Making (March 1, 2014). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2014/3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2411950 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2411950

Marco Kleine (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

Pascal Langenbach

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Lilia Zhurakhovska

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Duisburg-Essen ( email )

Lotharstrasse 1
Duisburg, 47048
Germany

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