Homo Æqualis: A Cross-Society Experimental Analysis of Three Bargaining Games
AbstractData from three bargaining games—the Dictator Game, the Ultimatum Game, and the Third-Party Punishment Game—played in 15 societies are presented. The societies range from US undergraduates to Amazonian, Arctic, and African hunter-gatherers. Behaviour within the games varies markedly across societies. The paper investigates whether this behavioural diversity can be explained solely by variations in inequality aversion. Combining a single parameter utility function with the notion of subgame perfection generates a number of testable predictions. While most of these are supported, there are some telling divergences between theory and data: uncertainty and preferences relating to acts of vengeance may have influenced play in the Ultimatum and Third- Party Punishment Games; and a few subjects used the games as an opportunity to engage in costly signalling.
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Date of creation: 05 Mar 2009
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- Abigail Barr & Chris Wallace, 2009. "Homo Aequalis: A Cross-Society Experimental Analysis of Three Bargaining Games," Economics Series Working Papers 422, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Abigail Barr & Chris Wallace & Jean Ensminger & Joseph Henrich & Clark Barrette & Alexander Bolyanatz & Juan Camilo Cardenas & Michael Gurven & Edwins Gwako & Carolyn Lesorogol & Frank Marlowe & Richa, 2009. "Homo Æqualis: A Cross-Society Experimental Analysis of Three Bargaining Games," CSAE Working Paper Series 2009-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-04-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2009-04-25 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2009-04-25 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2009-04-25 (Game Theory)
- NEP-HPE-2009-04-25 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-UPT-2009-04-25 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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