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Actions and Beliefs: Estimating Distribution-Based Preferences Using a Large Scale Experiment with Probability Questions on Expectations

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  • Bellemare, Charles

    () (Université Laval)

  • Kröger, Sabine

    () (Université Laval)

  • van Soest, Arthur

    () (Tilburg University)

Abstract

We combine the choice data of proposers and responders in the ultimatum game, their expectations elicited in the form of subjective probability questions, and the choice data of proposers ("dictators") in a dictator game to estimate a structural model of decision making under uncertainty. We use a large and representative sample of subjects drawn from the Dutch population. Our results indicate that there is considerable heterogeneity in preferences for equity in the population. Changes in preferences have an important impact on decisions of dictators in the dictator game and responders in the ultimatum game, but a smaller impact on decisions of proposers in the ultimatum game, a result due to proposer's subjective expectations about responders' decisions. The model which uses subjective data on expectations has better predictive power and lower noise level than a model which assumes that players have rational expectations.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine & van Soest, Arthur, 2005. "Actions and Beliefs: Estimating Distribution-Based Preferences Using a Large Scale Experiment with Probability Questions on Expectations," IZA Discussion Papers 1666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1666
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    8. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387.
    9. Blount, Sally, 1995. "When Social Outcomes Aren't Fair: The Effect of Causal Attributions on Preferences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 131-144, August.
    10. Oxoby, Robert J. & McLeish, Kendra N., 2004. "Sequential decision and strategy vector methods in ultimatum bargaining: evidence on the strength of other-regarding behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 399-405, September.
    11. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 2000. "Asymmetric inequality aversion and noisy behavior in alternating-offer bargaining games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1079-1089, May.
    12. Yaw Nyarko & Andrew Schotter, 2002. "An Experimental Study of Belief Learning Using Elicited Beliefs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 971-1005, May.
    13. Heike Hennig-Schmidt & Zhu-Yu Li & Chaoliang Yang, 2004. "Why People Reject Advantageous Offers – Non-monotone Strategies in Ultimatum Bargaining," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse22_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Bellemare & Luc Bissonnette & Sabine Kroger, 2007. "Flexible Approximation of Subjective Expectations using Probability Questions -An Application to the Investment Game-," Cahiers de recherche 0734, CIRPEE.
    2. Werner Güth & Carsten Schmidt & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Bargaining outside the lab - a newspaper experiment of a three-person ultimatum game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 449-469, March.
    3. repec:spr:grdene:v:16:y:2007:i:4:d:10.1007_s10726-006-9051-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Christian Belzil, 2006. "Subjective beliefs and Schooling Decisions," Post-Print halshs-00265466, HAL.
    5. Cabrales, Antonio & Miniaci, Raffaele & Piovesan, Marco & Ponti, Giovanni, 2007. "An experiment on markets and contracts : do social preferences determine corporate culture?," UC3M Working papers. Economics we072010, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    6. Olivier Armantier & Nicolas Treich, 2006. "Overbidding in Independant Private-Values Auctions and Misperception of Probabilities," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-15, CIRANO.
    7. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ultimatum game; inequity aversion; subjective expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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