Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Réttlæti og sérhagsmunir

Baldursson, Fridrik M. (2004): Réttlæti og sérhagsmunir. Published in: Fjármálatíðindi , Vol. 51, No. 2 (2004): pp. 78-86.

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Abstract

This paper briefly summarizes recent research on justice, in particular Konow’s (2003) positive theory of justice. This research is then applied to recent events in Iceland: the attempt by Iceland’s largest bank to take over a savings bank. Shortly after the deal was announced the Icelandic Parliament quickly and unanimously passed a law which blocked it by creating a hold-up situation for the savings bank board: if it converts the bank to a corporation – as is necessary prior to takeover – an outside board will replace the present board. It is argued that the strong support for the law is puzzling when seen from the perspective of theories of pressure groups, regulatory threat and privatization. However, the paper claims that this may be explained by positive analysis of justice: the board played an ultimatum game against the general public and made what was perceived as an unfair proposal. The proposal was soundly rejected by the public, as usually happens when unfair offers are made in ultimatum games.

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