On the Behavior of Proposers in Ultimatum Games
AbstractWe demonstrate that one should not expect convergence of the proposals to the subgame perfect Nash equilibrium offer in standard ultimatum games. First, imposing strict experimental control of the behavior of the receiving players and focusing on the behavior of the proposers, we show experimentally that proposers do not learn to make the expected-payoff-maximizing offer. Second, considering a range of learning theories (from optimal to boundedly rational), we explain that this is an inherent feature of the learning task faced by the proposers, and we provide some insights into the actual learning behavior of the experimental subjects. This explanation for the lack of convergence to the subgame perfect Nash equilibrium in ultimatum games complements most alternative explanations.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 502.
Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Ultimatum game; Non-equilibrium behavior; Laboratory experiment; Multi-armed bandit; Optimal learning; Gittins index; Bounded rationality;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-CBE-2003-10-05 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2003-10-05 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-IND-2003-09-28 (Industrial Organization)
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.:
- Vriend, Nicolaas J., 1997. "Will reasoning improve learning?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 9-18, August.
- Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Vaimaki, 1999.
"Stationary Multi Choice Bandit Problems,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1240, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- 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.
- Werner Guth & Reinhard Tietz, 1997. "Ultimatum bargaining behavior: a survey and comparison of experimental results," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1160, David K. Levine.
- Brezzi, Monica & Lai, Tze Leung, 2002. "Optimal learning and experimentation in bandit problems," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 87-108, November.
- 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.
- Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
- Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Ultimatum Game," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 195-206, Fall.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nick Vriend).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.