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Adaptive Learning versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining

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  • Abbink, Klaus
  • Bolton, Gary E.
  • Sadrieh, Abdolkarim
  • Tang, Fang-Fang

Abstract

Adaptive learning and punishment are highly prominent competing explanations for ultimatum game behavior. We report on an experiment that considers each theory in stand-alone form, so that one does not rely on the other in any substantial way. Our data exhibits patterns for which punishment can account but learning by itself cannot. Initial play varies substantially- and systematically-across variations on the ultimatum game, and this leads to differences in later play as well. Hence a complete theory of ultimatum game behavior will have to predict initial conditions as well as describe the influence of repeated play.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 37 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 1-25

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:37:y:2001:i:1:p:1-25

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
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  6. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Blount, Sally, 1995. "When Social Outcomes Aren't Fair: The Effect of Causal Attributions on Preferences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 131-144, August.
  8. Yan Chen & Fang-Fang Tang, 1998. "Learning and Incentive-Compatible Mechanisms for Public Goods Provision: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 633-662, June.
  9. Colin F. Camerer, 1997. "Progress in Behavioral Game Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 167-188, Fall.
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  12. John Duffy & Nick Feltovich, 1997. "Does Observation of Others Affect Learning in Strategic Environments? An Experimental Study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 592, David K. Levine.
  13. Gary E Bolton & Rami Zuwick, 2010. "Anonymity versus punishments in ultimatum bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 826, David K. Levine.
  14. Kagel, John H. & Kim, Chung & Moser, Donald, 1996. "Fairness in Ultimatum Games with Asymmetric Information and Asymmetric Payoffs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 100-110, March.
  15. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  16. Robert Moir, 1998. "A Monte Carlo Analysis of the Fisher Randomization Technique: Reviving Randomization for Experimental Economists," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 87-100, June.
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