[ExI] Meta question

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 19 16:33:43 UTC 2016

> On Aug 19, 2016, at 7:57 AM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am not going to pretend that I understand a lot of what Anders said (I did have to invite him, eh?).
> But I do wonder how they are measuring utility?  I am reminded of the social psych experiment where one guy is given ten dollars and told to share.  The data show that if he offers two dollars to the other guy, the other guy often refuses it, despite the fact that the rules are that if the offer is refused, neither party gets anything.  And there's more from Kahneman and Tversky.
> Where's the utility in refusing the two dollars?
> bill w

If utility is purely about merely maximizing the money you have, then there's a problem, but if being treated equitably is also part of a person's utility, then accepting a unfair payout might lower their utility, no? And there might be other ways to interpret this, such as denying others a larger share might raise the deniers utility even if it's not costless. (This might be what happens with many interventions in the market. E.g., large corporations might support raising the minimum wage even though it will increase their labor costs because it will hurt their smaller competitors even more. Or so some have explained why Walmart supported raising the minimum wage. To be sure, it might not only hurt their competitors more but also earn them some points with the public for being socially responsible.;)


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