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The Entitlement Effect in the Ultimatum Game - Does It Even Exist?

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  • Elif E. Demiral
  • Johanna Mollerstrom

Abstract

Since the seminal paper of Hoffman et al. (1994), an entitlement effect is believed to exist in the Ultimatum Game, in the sense that proposers who have earned their role (as opposed to having it randomly allocated) offer a smaller share of the pie to their matched responder. The entitlement effect is at the core of experimental Public Choice – not just because it concerns the topics of bargaining and negotiations, but also because it relates to the question about under which circumstances actors behave more rational. We conduct three experiments, two in the laboratory and one online, with more than 1,250 participants. Our original motivation was to study gender differences, but ultimately we could not replicate the entitlement effect in the Ultimatum Game in any of our three experiments. Potential reasons for why the replication attempts fail are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Elif E. Demiral & Johanna Mollerstrom, 2018. "The Entitlement Effect in the Ultimatum Game - Does It Even Exist?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1756, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1756
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    Cited by:

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    2. Charness, Gary & Dao, Lien & Shurchkov, Olga, 2022. "Competing now and then: The effects of delay on competitiveness across gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 198(C), pages 612-630.
    3. DeAngelo, Gregory & Houser, Daniel & Romaniuc, Rustam, 2020. "Experimental public choice: An introduction to the special issue," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 278-280.
    4. Feltovich, Nick, 2019. "Is earned bargaining power more fully exploited?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 152-180.
    5. Michael Jetter & Kieran Stockley, 2023. "Gender match and negotiation: evidence from angel investment on Shark Tank," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 64(4), pages 1947-1977, April.
    6. Barber IV, Benjamin S. & English, William, 2019. "The origin of wealth matters: Equity norms trump equality norms in the ultimatum game with earned endowments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 33-43.
    7. Christine L. Exley & Judd B. Kessler, 2018. "Equity Concerns are Narrowly Framed," NBER Working Papers 25326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ultimatum game; public choice; experiment; entitlement; negotiations; bargaining; replications; gender;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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