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

Author

Listed:
  • Abigail Barr
  • Chris Wallace
  • Jean Ensminger
  • Joseph Henrich
  • Clark Barrette
  • Alexander Bolyanatz
  • Juan Camilo Cardenas
  • Michael Gurven
  • Edwins Gwako
  • Carolyn Lesorogol
  • Frank Marlowe
  • Richard McElreath
  • David Tracer
  • John Ziker

Abstract

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 US undergraduates 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Abigail Barr & Chris Wallace & Jean Ensminger & Joseph Henrich & Clark Barrette & Alexander Bolyanatz & Juan Camilo Cardenas & Michael Gurven & Edwins Gwako & Carolyn Lesorogol & Frank Marlowe & Richa, 2009. "Homo Æqualis: A Cross-Society Experimental Analysis of Three Bargaining Games," CSAE Working Paper Series 2009-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2009-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, "undated". "Third Party Punishment and Social Norms," IEW - Working Papers 106, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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    6. 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.
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    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kohler, Stefan, 2013. "Inequality aversion causes equal or unequal division in alternating-offer bargaining," MPRA Paper 40764, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Pamela Jakiela & Edward Miguel & Vera L. te Velde, 2010. "You've Earned It: Combining Field and Lab Experiments to Estimate the Impact of Human Capital on Social Preferences," NBER Working Papers 16449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Miller Moya, Luis Miguel & Ubeda Molla, Paloma, 2014. "The Relevance of Relative Position in Ultimatum Games," DFAEII Working Papers DFAE-II;2014-02, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    4. Horak, Sven, 2013. "Cross-cultural experimental economics and indigenous management research: Issues and contributions," Working Papers on East Asian Studies 92/2013, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST.
    5. Pamela Jakiela & Edward Miguel & Vera Velde, 2015. "You’ve earned it: estimating the impact of human capital on social preferences," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 385-407, September.
    6. repec:eee:corfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:162-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Juan Cardenas, 2011. "Social Norms and Behavior in the Local Commons as Seen Through the Lens of Field Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 451-485, March.
    8. Elnahas, Ahmed M. & Kabir Hassan, M. & Ismail, Ghada M., 2017. "Religion and mergers and acquisitions contracting: The case of earnout agreements," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 221-246.
    9. Kohler, Stefan, 2012. "More fair play in an ultimatum game after resettlement in Zimbabwe: A field experiment and a structural model," MPRA Paper 40248, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A preference-Based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    11. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A Preference-based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2734, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Ahern, Kenneth R. & Daminelli, Daniele & Fracassi, Cesare, 2015. "Lost in translation? The effect of cultural values on mergers around the world," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 165-189.
    13. Beranek, Benjamin & Cubitt, Robin & Gächter, Simon, 2015. "Stated and Revealed Inequality Aversion in Three Subject Pools," IZA Discussion Papers 8954, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Juan Camilo Cárdenas, 2009. "Experiments in Environment and Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 157-182, September.
    15. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2011. "Economic incentives and social preferences: substitutes or complements?," Department of Economics University of Siena 617, Department of Economics, University of Siena.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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