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Abstract

The objective of this research is to measure individuals’ fairness expectations and relate them to their market behavior in a private-negotiation institution. By doing this, we may inform model parameterization of field data and increase understanding of payment incidence causation. We hypothesize agents will change both their market and UG behavior when the tenant/proposer receives a subsidy following a successful negotiation. We also hypothesize that agents’ market behavior does relate to their fairness expectations in the UG. Two economic experiments were developed to test our hypotheses, a market and an ultimatum bargaining game experiment. We recruited 106 undergraduate students and conducted the experiments in an experimental laboratory using a computer based market mechanism. Our findings suggest fairness expectations need to be considered as a possible constraint on agents’ profit maximization behavior in land markets. The experimental evidence indicates market sellers or landlords demand higher land rental prices when tenants receive per-unit subsidies. Their ability to obtain a higher price appears to be more formidable in markets with limited matching opportunities. We conclude fairness expectations may constrain individuals’ profit-maximization behavior in the land market and, in turn, affect payment incidence in this market.

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