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Ultimatum bargaining by children and adults

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  • Keith Murnighan
  • M Saxon
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    Abstract

    Recent research on ultimatum bargaining, the fact that children often confront and use ultimatums, and theories of developmental psychology all combine to suggest that studying children's ultimatum behavior will be particularly enlightening, both theoretically and with respect to the development of bargaining behavior. The results from two experiments indicate that younger children made larger offers and accepted smaller offers than older participants. Boys took greater strategic advantage of asymmetric information than girls; this dichotomy began with nine-year-olds (third graders) and continued for twelve- and fifteen-year-olds (sixth and ninth graders) as well as for college students. Like adults, children accepted smaller offers when they did not know how much was being divided. Older children required increasingly higher offers, except for college students who were willing to accept considerably less than others. Also, some of the nine-year-olds displayed an extremely strong sense of fairness. The discussion focuses on the development of bargaining strategies and concerns for fairness.

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    File URL: http://karlan.yale.edu/fieldexperiments/papers/00100.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Artefactual Field Experiments with number 00100.

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    Date of creation: 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00100

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    Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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    1. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
    2. Bolle, Friedel, 1990. "High reward experiments without high expenditure for the experimenter?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 157-167, June.
    3. W. Guth & R. Schmittberger & B. Schwartz, 2010. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 291, David K. Levine.
    4. Werner Guth & Reinhard Tietz, 1997. "Ultimatum bargaining behavior: a survey and comparison of experimental results," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1160, David K. Levine.
    5. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
    6. 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.
    7. Guth, Werner & Tietz, Reinhard, 1990. "Ultimatum bargaining behavior : A survey and comparison of experimental results," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 417-449, September.
    8. Bolton Gary E. & Zwick Rami, 1995. "Anonymity versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-121, July.
    9. Ochs, Jack & Roth, Alvin E, 1989. "An Experimental Study of Sequential Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 355-84, June.
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