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Minimally acceptable altruism and the ultimatum game

  • Rotemberg, Julio J.

I suppose that people react with anger when others show themselves not to be minimally altruistic. With heterogeneous agents, this can account for the experimental results of ultimatum and dictator games. Moreover, it can account for the surprisingly large fraction of individuals who offer an even split with parameter values that are more plausible than those that are required to explain outcomes in these experiments with the models of Levine [Levine, D.K., 1998. Modeling altruism and spitefulness in experiments. Review of Economic Dynamics 1, 593-622], Fehr and Schmidt [Fehr, E., Schmidt, K.M., 1999. A theory of fairness, competition and cooperation. Quarterly Journal of Economics 114, 817-868], Dickinson [Dickinson, D.L., 2000. Ultimatum decision making: a test of reciprocal kindness. Theory and Decision 48, 151-177] and Bolton and Ockenfels [Bolton, G.E., Ockenfels, A., 2000. ERC: a theory of equity, reciprocity, and competition. American Economic Review 90, 166-193].

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (June)
Pages: 457-476

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:66:y:2008:i:3-4:p:457-476
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  3. Pillutla, Madan M. & Murnighan, J. Keith, 1996. "Unfairness, Anger, and Spite: Emotional Rejections of Ultimatum Offers," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 208-224, December.
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  17. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  25. 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.
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