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Journal Article

Fairness and Persuasion: How Stakeholder Communication Affects Impartial Decision Making


Kleine,  Marco
MPI for Innovation and Competition, Max Planck Society;

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Kleine, M., Langenbach, P., & Zhurakhovska, L. (2016). Fairness and Persuasion: How Stakeholder Communication Affects Impartial Decision Making. Economics Letters, 141, 173-176. doi:10.1016/j.econlet.2016.02.019.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0025-77CB-D
We study experimentally to what extent distributive fairness decisions by impartial authorities are influenced by stakeholders’ fairness opinions. In a three-player allocation game, we compare Communication treatments, in which one of the stakeholders states her opinion prior to the allocation decision, to a Baseline without communication. We find that stakeholders who state their opinion 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: Authorities deviate from their initial fairness judgment and follow stakeholders’ opinions if the requests are moderate; they largely ignore high monetary requests.