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Are groups more rational, more competitive or more prosocial bargainers?

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  • Ulrike Vollstädt

    ()
    (Jena Graduate School "Human Behaviour in Social and Economic Change", University of Jena)

  • Robert Böhm

    ()
    (Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioral Scienes (CEREB), University of Erfurt)

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    Abstract

    In reality, it is often groups rather than individuals that make decisions. In previous experiments, groups have frequently been shown to act differently from individuals in several ways. It has been claimed that inter-group interactions may be (1) more competitive, (2) more rational, or (3) more prosocial than inter-individual interactions. While some of these observed differences may be due to differences in the experimental designs, it is still not clear which of the three motivations is prevailing as they have often been behaviorally confounded in previous experiments. We use Rubinstein's alternating offers bargaining game to compare inter-individual with inter-group behavior since it allows separating the predictions of competitive, rational and prosocial behavior. We find that groups are, on average, more rational bargainers than individuals.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2012-048.

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    Date of creation: 23 Aug 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-048

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    Keywords: alternating offers bargaining experiment; inter-group behavior; inter-individual behavior;

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    1. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    2. Gary Bornstein & Matthias Sutter & Tamar Kugler & Martin G. Kocher, . "Trust between individuals and groups: Groups are less rusting than individuals but just as trustworthy," Papers on Strategic Interaction, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group 2005-02, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    3. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational†Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
    4. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    5. Wolfgang Luhan & Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Group polarization in the team dictator game reconsidered," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 26-41, March.
    6. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Gary Bornstein & Tamar Kugler & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2002. "Individual and Group Decisions in the Centipede Game: Are Groups More “Rational” Players?," Discussion Paper Series, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem dp298, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    8. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-83, September.
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