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Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational†Players?

  • Gary Bornstein
  • Ilan Yaniv

This article reports two experiments that compared the standard ultimatum game played by individuals with the same game played by three-person groups. In the group treatment, the members of the allocating group conducted a brief, face-to-face discussion in order to decide, as a group, on a proposed division, whereas the members of recipient group held a discussion on whether to accept or reject the proposal. If the proposal was accepted, each group member received an equal share of his group's payoff (the pie in the group condition was three times that in the individual condition). In both experiments, groups offered less than individuals. But as indicated by the low rejection rate in both treatments, groups were also willing to accept less. Copyright Economic Science Association 1998

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1009914001822
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 101-108

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:1:y:1998:i:1:p:101-108
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  1. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  2. Bolton Gary E. & Zwick Rami, 1995. "Anonymity versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-121, July.
  3. Messick, David M. & Moore, Don A. & Bazerman, Max H., 1997. "Ultimatum Bargaining with a Group: Underestimating the Importance of the Decision Rule," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 87-101, February.
  4. Binmore, K & Shaked, A & Sutton, J, 1985. "Testing Noncooperative Bargaining Theory: A Preliminary Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1178-80, December.
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