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Information acquisition in the ultimatum game: An experimental study

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  • Anders Poulsen

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  • Jonathan Tan

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    Abstract

    We experimentally investigate if free information disadvantages a player relative to when information is unavailable. We study an Ultimatum game where the Proposer, before making an offer, can obtain free information about the Responder's minimum acceptable offer. Theoretically, the Proposer should obtain the information and play a best reply to the Responder's minimum acceptable offer. Thus the Responder should get the largest share of the surplus. We find that an increasing number of Proposers become informed over time. Moreover, the proportion of Proposers who use the information to maximize money earnings increases over time. The majority of information-acquiring Proposers, however, refuse to offer more than one-half and play a best reply only to Responders who accept offers of one-half or less. This, together with a substantial proportion of Proposers who choose to remain uninformed, means that the availability of free information backfires for Proposers only by a little. Copyright Economic Science Association 2007

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 391-409

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:10:y:2007:i:4:p:391-409

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

    Related research

    Keywords: Information acquisition; Ultimatum game; Fairness; Inequity aversion;

    References

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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    11. Hamilton, J.H. & Slutsky, S.M., 1988. "Endogenous Timing In Duopoly Games: Stackelberg Or Cournot Equilibria," Papers 88-4, Florida - College of Business Administration.
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    Cited by:
    1. Conrads, Julian & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2011. "Strategic Ignorance in Bargaining," IZA Discussion Papers 6087, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Anders U. Poulsen & Michael V. M. Roos, 2009. "Do People Make Strategic Moves? Experimental Evidence on Strategic Information Avoidance," Discussion Papers 09-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    3. Anders Poulsen & Michael Roos, 2010. "Do People Make Strategic Commitments? Experimental Evidence on Strategic Information Avoidance," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 007, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    4. Conrads, Julian & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2013. "Strategic ignorance in ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 104-115.
    5. Silvia Dominguez Martinez & Randolph Sloof & Ferdinand von Siemens, 2010. "Monitoring your Friends, not your Foes: Strategic Ignorance and the Delegation of Real Authority," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-101/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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