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Auctioning the right to play ultimatum games and the impact on equilibrium selection

  • Jason Shachat
  • J. Todd Swarthout

We conduct an experiment in which we auction the scarce rights to play the Proposer and Responder positions in subsequent ultimatum games. As a control treatment, we randomly allocate these rights and then charge exogenous participation fees according to the auction price sequences observed in the auction treatment. With endogenous selection into ultimatum games via auctions, we find that play converges to a session-specific Nash equilibrium and auction prices emerge which support this equilibrium by the principle of forward induction. With random assignment and exogenous participation fees, we find play also converges to a session-specific Nash equilibrium as predicted by the principle of loss avoidance. The Nash equilibrium observed within a session results in low ultimatum game offers, but the subgame perfect Nash equilibrium is never observed.

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Paper provided by Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series with number 2013-01.

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Length: 21
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2013-01
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  1. Werner Güth & Martin G. Kocher, 2013. "More than thirty years of ultimatum bargaining experiments: Motives, variations, and a survey of the recent literature," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-035, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
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  8. Van Huyck John B. & Battalio Raymond C. & Beil Richard O., 1993. "Asset Markets as an Equilibrium Selection Mechanism: Coordination Failure, Game Form Auctions, and Tacit Communication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 485-504, July.
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  10. John List & Todd Cherry, 2000. "Learning to Accept in Ultimatum Games: Evidence from an Experimental Design that Generates Low Offers," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 11-29, June.
  11. David Cooper & Nick Feltovich & Alvin Roth & Rami Zwick, 2003. "Relative versus Absolute Speed of Adjustment in Strategic Environments: Responder Behavior in Ultimatum Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 181-207, October.
  12. Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
  13. Offerman, T.J.S. & Potters, J.J.M., 2006. "Does auctioning of entry licences induce collusions? An experimental study," Other publications TiSEM d72095fa-6c74-49a2-8c82-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  14. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
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  17. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:1:p:165-94 is not listed on IDEAS
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