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Personality Preferences and Pre-Commitment: Behavioral Explanations in Ultimatum Games

  • Pamela M. Schmitt

    (U. S. Naval Academy)

  • Robert S. Shupp

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Ball State University)

  • Kurtis J. Swope

    ()

    (U. S. Naval Academy)

  • Justin Mayer

    (U. S. Naval Academy)

This paper uses responder pre-commitment and psychological type, as measured by the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), to gain insight into subject behavior in a laboratory ultimatum bargaining experiment. Three experiment design details are noteworthy: (1) one design requires responders to make a nonbinding pre-commitment rejection level prior to seeing the offer, (2) one design requires responders to make a binding pre-commitment rejection level, and (3) one design includes a third person (or “hostage”) who makes no decision, but whose payment depends on the proposal being accepted. Offers are higher when proposers know that responders make a binding pre-commitment to reject but are not different when a hostage is present. Responders make lower pre-commitments when they are binding and when a hostage is present. Behavior in our experiment is generally consistent with hypotheses based on theoretical underpinnings of the MBTI and its descriptions of psychological type.

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File URL: http://econfac.iweb.bsu.edu/research/workingpapers/bsuecwp200503schmitt.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Ball State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200503.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision: May 2005
Handle: RePEc:bsu:wpaper:200503
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Web page: http://www.bsu.edu/econ

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  1. Ben-Ner, Avner & Kong, Fanmin & Putterman, Louis, 2004. "Share and share alike? Gender-pairing, personality, and cognitive ability as determinants of giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 581-589, October.
  2. Solnick, Sara J, 2001. "Gender Differences in the Ultimatum Game," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 189-200, April.
  3. Avner Ben-Ner & Louis Putterman, 1999. "Reciprocity in a Two Part Dictator Game," Working Papers 99-28, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. John Kagel & Katherine Wolfe, 2001. "Tests of Fairness Models Based on Equity Considerations in a Three-Person Ultimatum Game," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 203-219, December.
  5. Boone, Christophe & De Brabander, Bert & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, 1999. "The impact of personality on behavior in five Prisoner's Dilemma games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 343-377, June.
  6. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 2001. "Chivalry and Solidarity in Ultimatum Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 171-88, April.
  7. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  8. Caplan, Bryan, 2003. "Stigler-Becker versus Myers-Briggs: why preference-based explanations are scientifically meaningful and empirically important," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 391-405, April.
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