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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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  3. 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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  9. 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.
  10. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
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  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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