Implementing (un)fair procedures: Containing favoritism when unequal outcomes are inevitable

Robert Schmidt, Stefan T. Trautmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We study the selection of people when unequal payoffs are inevitable, but fair procedures are feasible, as in selecting one person from several candidates for a job. We show that allocators may be influenced by their similarity with a recipient, leading to favoritism in outcomes. We study four interventions to reduce favoritism and induce fair procedures, without restricting the allocator's decisions: transparency of the allocation process; a private randomization device; allowing the allocator to delegate to a public randomization device; and allowing the allocator to avoid information about recipients. Making use of beliefs and fairness judgments, we show why some interventions work, while others do not (JEL D63, J16, J7, C92).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-234
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Law, Economics and Organization
Issue number1
Early online date7 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Aversion
  • Bias
  • Fairness
  • Impact
  • Justice
  • Management
  • Organizational citizenship
  • Partiality
  • Recruitment
  • Roles


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