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Testing subgame perfection apart from fairness in ultimatum games

  • Andreoni,J.
  • Blanchard,E.

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Social Systems Research Institute)

We present an experiment designed to separate the two commonplace explanations for behavior in ultimatum games—subjects’ concern for fairness versus the failure of subgame perfection as an equilibrium refinement. We employ a tournament structure of the bargaining interaction to eliminate the potential for fairness to influence behavior. Comparing the results of the tournament game with two control treatments affords us a clean test of subgame perfection as well as a measure fairness-induced play. We find after 10 iterations of play that about half of all non-subgame-perfect demands are due to fairness, and the rest to imperfect learning. However, as suggested by models of learning, we also confirm that the ultimatum game presents an especially difficult environment for learning subgame perfection. Copyright Economic Science Association 2006

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Paper provided by Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems in its series Working papers with number 15.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:200215
Contact details of provider: Postal: UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON, SOCIAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE(S.S.R.I.), MADISON WISCONSIN 53706 U.S.A.

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  1. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. 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.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Andreoni,J. & Castillo,M. & Petrie,R., 2004. "Revealing preferences for fairness in ultimatum bargaining," Working papers 13, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1997. "Measuring Players' Losses in Experimental Games," Scholarly Articles 3160492, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Abbink, Klaus & Bolton, Gary E. & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Tang, Fang-Fang, 2001. "Adaptive Learning versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-25, October.
  8. Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
  9. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Social Preferences: Some Simple Tests and a New Model," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt46j0d6hb, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  10. 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.
  11. A. Roth & I. Er’ev, 2010. "Learning in Extensive Form Games: Experimental Data and Simple Dynamic Models in the Intermediate Run," Levine's Working Paper Archive 387, David K. Levine.
  12. Ochs, Jack & Roth, Alvin E, 1989. "An Experimental Study of Sequential Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 355-84, June.
  13. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
  15. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  16. Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
  17. Andreoni,J. & Castillo,M. & Petrie,R., 2000. "What do bargainers' preferences look like? : exploring a convex ultimatum game," Working papers 25, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  18. repec:att:wimass:9325 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. G. Bolton, 2010. "A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 263, David K. Levine.
  20. 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.
  21. Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, . "Asymmetric Inequality Aversion and Noisy Behavior in Alternating-Offer Bargaining Games," Virginia Economics Online Papers 329, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
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