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Inequality Aversion and Stochastic Decision-making: Experimental Evidence from Zimbabwean Villages after Land Reform

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  • Stefan Kohler

Abstract

Inequality considerations are a motive for making positive offers in the Ultimatum Game and rejecting small ones, but decision error could have the same effect. I find evidence for both of these considerations and a different relative importance amongst Zimbabwean villagers, of whom some resettled after a government organized land reform during the 1980s. Resettled villagers have higher inequality aversion and lower decision error than those who live in traditional villages but, after accounting for different levels of inequality aversion, the difference in decision error between both groups of villagers is no longer significant. There are no gender differences in preferences. The model estimated was first used by De Bruyn and Bolton (2004) on a large set of bargaining data but the best fit of 64 percent overall coincidence of observed and predicted behavior is achieved for a different `symmetric` specification of inequality aversion in the model. As the use of field data is a recent development in experimental economics, I reestimate the model applied to the Zimbabwean data on the laboratory Ultimatum Game data of Roth et al. (1991) and further field data from Henrich et al. (2005). Estimates are compared comprehensively.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number GPRG-WPS-061.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:gprg-wps-061

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Keywords: Quantal Response Equilibrium; Ultimatum Bargaining Game; Inequality Aversion; Gender Difference; Land Reform; Field Experiment;

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
  3. Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
  4. Keith Murnighan & M Saxon, 1998. "Ultimatum bargaining by children and adults," Artefactual Field Experiments 00100, The Field Experiments Website.
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  8. Yi, Kang-Oh, 2005. "Quantal-response equilibrium models of the ultimatum bargaining game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 324-348, May.
  9. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
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  13. Johnson, Eric J. & Camerer, Colin & Sen, Sankar & Rymon, Talia, 2002. "Detecting Failures of Backward Induction: Monitoring Information Search in Sequential Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 16-47, May.
  14. R. McKelvey & T. Palfrey, 2010. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 510, David K. Levine.
  15. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Zauner, Klaus G., 2001. "Ultimatum Bargaining Behavior in Israel, Japan, Slovenia, and the United States: A Social Utility Analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 238-269, February.
  16. Murnighan, J. Keith & Saxon, Michael Scott, 1998. "Ultimatum bargaining by children and adults," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 415-445, August.
  17. Joseph Henrich, 2000. "Does Culture Matter in Economic Behavior? Ultimatum Game Bargaining among the Machiguenga of the Peruvian Amazon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 973-979, September.
  18. G. Bolton, 2010. "A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 263, David K. Levine.
  19. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
  20. 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.
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  22. Thomas R. Palfrey & Jeffrey Prisbrey, 2010. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1380, David K. Levine.
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