Raymond Fisman

Pareto Damaging Behaviors

Coauthor(s): Shachar Kariv, Daniel Markovits.


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This paper reports a rigorous experimental test of Pareto-damaging be- haviors. We introduce a new graphical representation of dictator games with step-shaped sets of feasible payo?s to persons self and other on which strongly Pareto e? cient allocations involve substantial inequality. The non-convexity and sharp nonlinearity of the Pareto frontier allow us systematically to classify Pareto-damaging allocations: as self-damaging or other-damaging and as inequality-increasing or inequality-decreasing. We ?nd that self and other Pareto-damaging behaviors occur frequently even in circumstances that do not implicate reciprocity or strategic inter- action. We also ?nd patterns in this behavior, most notably that behavior that Pareto damages self always reduces inequality whereas behavior that Pareto damages other usually increases inequality.

Exact Citation:
Fisman, Raymond, Shachar Kariv, and Daniel Markovits. "Pareto Damaging Behaviors." Columbia Business School, May 2005.
Date: 5 2005