Essays on search behaviour and procedural fairness

Wang, Mengjie (2017) Essays on search behaviour and procedural fairness. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis consists of three studies that relate to search behaviour and procedural fairness. Chapter 2 investigates experimentally whether the search-deterring effect of time-limited offers is intensified by behavioural factors – specifically, feedback-conditional regret, reduced decision quality due to time pressure, and aversion to small-scale risk. The conclusion is that the search-deterring effect is intensified, particularly (and surprisingly) when consumers are not subject to high time pressure. There is no evidence of regret effects. Overall, individuals show aversion to small-scale risk. Chapter 3 proposes a new concept of fairness: strategy fairness. The conjecture is that inequalities will tend to be seen as acceptable if they come about through the workings of fair rules, even though they are the result of self-interested intentions. A model of strategy fairness is provided to show how the concept of strategy fairness can be incorporated into a more complete model. The concept of strategy fairness is tested using an experiment. It turns out that subjects are more willing to accept inequalities that are the result of fair procedures. The surprising result emerges that procedural unfairness makes both disadvantaged and advantaged players more likely to take. Chapter 4 introduces a new search competition game. The search competition takes the form of parallel searches without recall. This is related to two theoretical and experimental literatures: contest and search. However, no work has been done on analysing this type of game. A theoretical analysis of the search competition game is provided. Subjects’ actual play in the experiment is compared with both the subgame perfect Nash equilibrium solution and the empirical best response. It shows that, relative to the implications of a rational-choice analysis, subjects tend to search too little.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2018 14:51
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2018 14:51


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