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Homo Æqualis: A Cross-Society Experimental Analysis of Three Bargaining Games

  • Abigail Barr

    ()

  • Chris Wallace
  • Jean Ensminger
  • Juan Camilo Cárdenas

    ()

Data from three bargaining games-the Dictator Game, the Ultimatum Game, and the Third-Party Punishment Game-played in 15 societies are presented. The societies range from USundergraduates to Amazonian, Arctic, and African hunter-gatherers. Behaviour within the games varies markedly across societies. The paper investigates whether this behavioural diversity can be explained solely by variations in inequality aversion. Combining a single parameter utility function with the notion of subgame perfection generates a number of testable predictions. While most of these are supported, there are some telling divergences between theory and data: uncertainty and preferences relating to acts of vengeance may have influenced play in the Ultimatum and Third- Party Punishment Games; and a few subjects used the games as an opportunity to engage in costly signalling.

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File URL: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/publicaciones/dcede2009-09.pdf
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Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE in its series DOCUMENTOS CEDE with number 005427.

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Length: 36
Date of creation: 05 Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:col:000089:005427
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  1. James Andreoni & Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2005. "Revealing Preferences for Fairness in Ultimatum Bargaining," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-21, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  2. 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.
  3. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "Third-party punishment and social norms," Experimental 0409002, EconWPA.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Joseph Henrich & Robert Boyd, 2003. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small- Scale Societies," Microeconomics 0305009, EconWPA.
  6. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  8. James Andreoni & Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "What Do Bargainers' Preferences Look Like? Experiments with a Convex Ultimatum Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 672-685, June.
  9. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  10. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
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