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Merit norms in the ultimatum game: an experimental study of the effect of merit on individual behavior and aggregate outcomes

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  • Jürgen Fleiß

Abstract

The paper reports the results of an ultimatum game experiment designed to test the effects of meritocratic norms on individual behavior and aggregate outcomes. In one treatment the roles of proposer and responder were assigned randomly. In the other treatment the roles were earned in a general knowledge quiz. The results show that proposers offer significantly less when they have earned their roles and responders have a significantly lower acceptance threshold. Rejection rates are lower for offers lower than the equal split when positions are allocated based on merit: Proposers earn significantly more in this setting. Responders suffer some loss in this treatment. This leads to an increase in overall inequality of payoffs measured by the Gini index when positions are allocated based on merit. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Jürgen Fleiß, 2015. "Merit norms in the ultimatum game: an experimental study of the effect of merit on individual behavior and aggregate outcomes," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 23(2), pages 389-406, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:cejnor:v:23:y:2015:i:2:p:389-406
    DOI: 10.1007/s10100-015-0385-8
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