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Social Comparisons in Ultimatum Bargaining

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  • Bohnet, Iris

    (Harvard U)

  • Zeckhauser, Richard

    (Harvard U)

Abstract

This paper employs experiments to examine the effects of social comparisons in ultimatum bargaining. We inform responders on the average offer before they decide whether to accept or reject their specific offer. To provide a metric for social comparison effects, we compare them with another change in informational conditions, asymmetric information on the pie size. Knowing comparable offers or knowing the pie size increases offers and rejection probabilities by similar magnitudes. Our results are consistent with people disliking deviations from the norm of equity but inconsistent with fairness theories, where people dislike income disparity between themselves and their referents.

Suggested Citation

  • Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Social Comparisons in Ultimatum Bargaining," Working Paper Series rwp03-028, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp03-028
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    Cited by:

    1. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2013. "Reference dependent altruism in demand bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 127-140.
    2. Simon Gächter & Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2012. "The Impact of Social Comparisons on Reciprocity," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1346-1367, December.
    3. Riyanto, Yohanes E. & Zhang, Jianlin, 2013. "The impact of social comparison of ability on pro-social behaviour," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 37-46.
    4. Laure Kuhfuss & Raphaële Préget & Sophie Thoyer & Nick Hanley & Philippe Le Coent & Mathieu Désolé, 2016. "Nudges, Social Norms, and Permanence in Agri-environmental Schemes," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 92(4), pages 641-655.
    5. Armenak Antinyan & Vardan Baghdasaryan & Aleksandr Grigoryan, 2018. "Social Preferences, Public Good Provision, Social Capital and Positional Concerns: Empirical Evidence from the South Caucasus," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp625, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    6. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    7. repec:eee:pubeco:v:155:y:2017:i:c:p:11-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jacek Miękisz & Michał Ramsza, 2013. "Sampling Dynamics of a Symmetric Ultimatum Game," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 374-386, September.
    9. Angelova, Vera & Güth, Werner & Kocher, Martin G., 2012. "Co-employment of permanently and temporarily employed agents," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 48-58.
    10. Gächter, Simon & Thöni, Christian, 2010. "Social comparison and performance: Experimental evidence on the fair wage-effort hypothesis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 531-543, December.
    11. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    12. Götte, Lorenz & Tripodi, Egon, 2018. "Social Influence in Prosocial Behavior:Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 13078, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Chiara Aina & Pierpaolo Battigalli & Astrid Gamba, 2018. "Frustration and Anger in the Ultimatum Game: An Experiment," Working Papers 621, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    14. Robert S. Gazzale, 2009. "Learning to Play Nash from the Best," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    15. Therese Lindahl & Magnus Johannesson, 2009. "Bargaining over a Common Good with Private Information," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(3), pages 547-565, September.
    16. Güth, Werner & Kocher, Martin G., 2014. "More than thirty years of ultimatum bargaining experiments: Motives, variations, and a survey of the recent literature," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 396-409.
    17. Rachel Croson & Jen Shang, 2006. "Field experiments in charitable contribution: The impact of social influence on the voluntary provision of public goods," Natural Field Experiments 00323, The Field Experiments Website.
    18. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Taxation and Conditional Taxation," Working Papers 2004/7, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    19. Lehr, Alex & Vyrastekova, Jana & Akkerman, Agnes & Torenvlied, René, 2016. "Spillovers and conflict in wage bargaining: Experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 59-68.
    20. Masahiro Shoji, 2014. "Channels of Peer Effects and Guilt Aversion in Crime: Experimental and Empirical Evidence from Bangladesh," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-923, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    21. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Taxation and Conditional Cooperation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    22. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9557-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Emin Karagözoğlu & Kerim Keskin, 2015. "A Tale of Two Bargaining Solutions," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(2), pages 1-14, June.
    24. Frey, Bruno S. & Meier, Stephan, 2004. "Pro-social behavior in a natural setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 65-88, May.

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    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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