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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. Joseph Henrich, 2001. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 73-78, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. 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.
  5. James Andreoni & Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2009. "Revealing Preferences for Fairness in Ultimatum Bargaining," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 25, pages 35-63.
  6. 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.
  7. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "Third-party punishment and social norms," Experimental 0409002, EconWPA.
  8. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  9. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
  10. Dufwenberg, M. & Kirchsteiger, G., 1998. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Discussion Paper 1998-37, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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