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Learning to bargain

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  • Harbaugh, William T.
  • Krause, Kate
  • Vesterlund, Lise

Abstract

This paper studies how children learn to bargain. We performed simple anonymous bargaining experiments with real payoffs with 256 children from age 8 to 18. On average, offers by even the youngest children were close to optimal, given the responses. Both offers and responses were similar to the results that others have reported for adults. Younger children showed more variance in the size of proposals. Children showed clear evidence of reinforcement learning, responding to a rejection by increasing subsequent proposals. This pattern was strongest for the youngest children, who tended to over-react to rejections. We found mixed support for social cognitive theory: while proposals increased after other children made larger proposals, they did not increase after proposals by others were rejected.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 28 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 127-142

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:28:y:2007:i:1:p:127-142

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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References

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  1. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  2. John, Deborah Roedder, 1999. " Consumer Socialization of Children: A Retrospective Look at Twenty-Five Years of Research," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 183-213, December.
  3. W. Guth & R. Schmittberger & B. Schwartz, 2010. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 291, David K. Levine.
  4. Keith Murnighan & M Saxon, 1998. "Ultimatum bargaining by children and adults," Artefactual Field Experiments 00100, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Lisa Cameron, 1995. "Raising the Stakes in the Ultimatum Game: Experimental Evidence From Indonesia," Working Papers 724, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
  7. Nick Feltovich & John Duffy, 1999. "Does observation of others affect learning in strategic environments? An experimental study," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 131-152.
  8. Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
  9. Gregan-Paxton, Jennifer & John, Deborah Roedder, 1995. " Are Young Children Adaptive Decision Makers? A Study of Age Differences in Information Search Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 567-80, March.
  10. Murnighan, J. Keith & Saxon, Michael Scott, 1998. "Ultimatum bargaining by children and adults," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 415-445, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman & Cathleen Johnson & Angela Oliveira & Christian Rojas & Rick Wilson, 2012. "School environment and risk preferences: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 265-292, December.
  2. Bucciol, Alessandro & Piovesan, Marco, 2011. "Luck or cheating? A field experiment on honesty with children," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-78, February.
  3. Owens, Mark F., 2011. "Do other-regarding preferences change with age? Evidence from a gift exchange experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 868-878.
  4. Ilaria Castelli & Davide Massaro & Alan Sanfey & Antonella Marchetti, 2010. "Fairness and intentionality in children’s decision-making," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 269-288, September.
  5. Cotton, Christopher & McIntyre, Frank & Price, Joseph, 2013. "Gender differences in repeated competition: Evidence from school math contests," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 52-66.
  6. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Schmidt, Carsten, 2011. "Time (In)Consistent Food Choice of Children and Teenagers," MEA discussion paper series 11251, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  7. Parco, James E. & Murphy, Ryan O., 2013. "Resistance to truthful revelation in bargaining: Persistent bid shading and the play of dominated strategies," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 154-170.

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