Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Accepting Zero in the Ultimatum Game Does Not Reflect Selfish Preferences

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gianandrea Staffiero

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Filippos Exadaktylos

    (BELIS, Murat Sertel Center for Advanced Economic Studies,Istanbul Bilgi University)

  • Antonio M. Espín

    (Universidad de Granada, Departamento de Teoría e Historia Económica,)

Abstract

The rejection of unfair proposals in ultimatum games is often quoted as evidence of other-regarding preferences. In this paper we focus on those responders who accept any proposals, setting the minimum acceptable offer (MAO) at zero. While this behavior could result from the randomization between the two payoff-maximizing strategies (i.e. setting MAO at zero or at the smallest positive amount), it also implies that the opponent’s payoff is maximized and the “pie” remains intact. We match subjects’ behavior as ultimatum responders with their choices in the dictator game, in two large-scale experiments. We find that those who set MAO at zero are the most generous dictators. Moreover, they differ substantially from responders whose MAO is the smallest positive offer, who are the greediest dictators. Thus, an interpretation of zero MAOs in terms of selfish, payoff-maximizing behavior could be misleading. Our evidence indicates that the restraint from punishing others can be driven by altruism and by the desire to maximize social welfare.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://repeck.bilgi.edu.tr/RePEc/msc/wpaper/mscenter_2012_03_Accepting_Zero.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Murat Sertel Center for Advanced Economic Studies, Istanbul Bilgi University in its series Working Papers with number 201203.

as in new window
Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:msc:wpaper:201203

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mscenter.bilgi.edu.tr
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: ultimatum game; dictator game; altruism; social welfare; costly punishment; selfishness; social preferences;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism - Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Georg Kirchsteiger, 1994. "The role of envy in ultimatum games," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5925, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. James M. Walker & Matthew A. Halloran, 2004. "Rewards and Sanctions and the Provision of Public Goods in One-Shot Settings," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 235-247, October.
  7. López-Pérez, Raúl, 2008. "Aversion to norm-breaking: A model," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 237-267, September.
  8. Olivier Armantier, 2006. "Do Wealth Differences Affect Fairness Considerations?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 391-429, 05.
  9. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  10. Catherine Eckel & Philip Grossman, 2000. "Volunteers and Pseudo-Volunteers: The Effect of Recruitment Method in Dictator Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 107-120, October.
  11. Mitzkewitz, Michael & Nagel, Rosemarie, 1993. "Experimental Results on Ultimatum Games with Incomplete Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 171-98.
  12. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
  13. 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.
  14. Oxoby, Robert J. & McLeish, Kendra N., 2004. "Sequential decision and strategy vector methods in ultimatum bargaining: evidence on the strength of other-regarding behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 399-405, September.
  15. Chen, Kang & Tang, Fang-Fang, 2009. "Cultural differences between Tibetans and ethnic Han Chinese in ultimatum bargaining experiments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 78-84, March.
  16. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Almudena Domínguez, 2005. ""Si él lo necesita": Gypsy fairness in Vallecas," ThE Papers 05/02, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  17. Ken Binmore, 1998. "Game Theory and the Social Contract - Vol. 2: Just Playing," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 2, number 0262024446, December.
  18. Filippos Exadaktylos & Antonio M. Espin & Pablo Branas-Garza, 2012. "Experimental Subjects are Not Different," Working Papers 12-11, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  19. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  20. Jeffrey Carpenter & Cristina Connolly & Caitlin Myers, 2008. "Altruistic behavior in a representative dictator experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 282-298, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Espín, Antonio M. & Neuman, Shoshana, 2013. "Effects of religiosity on social behaviour: Experimental evidence from a representative sample of Spaniards," CEPR Discussion Papers 9709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:msc:wpaper:201203. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ali Seyhun Saral).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.