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Self-Serving Use of Equity Rules in Bargaining with Asymmetric Outside Options

  • Hennig-Schmidt, Heike

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

  • Irlenbusch, Bernd

    ()

    (University of Cologne)

  • Rilke, Rainer Michael

    ()

    (University of Cologne)

  • Walkowitz, Gari

    ()

    (University of Cologne)

We experimentally investigate multiple notions of equity in ultimatum bargaining with asymmetric outside options. Building on the generalized equity principle formulated by Selten (1978), we derive three different equity rules that can explain 43% of all offers. Our within-subject design further allows us to show that proposers use different equity rules and apply them in a self-serving manner. They tend to follow the rules that suggest the highest payoff for them. Responders exhibit a similar pattern of behavior. Combined, these tendencies lead to high inefficiencies due to frequent rejections.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7625.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7625
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  1. Pamela Schmitt, 2004. "On Perceptions of Fairness: The Role of Valuations, Outside Options, and Information in Ultimatum Bargaining Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 49-73, February.
  2. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
  3. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford, 2006. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000336, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Lange, Andreas & Löschel, Andreas & Vogt, Carsten & Ziegler, Andreas, 2010. "On the self-interested use of equity in international climate negotiations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 359-375, April.
  5. Nejat Anbarci & Nick Feltovich, 2013. "How responsive are people to changes in their bargaining position? Earned bargaining power and the 50–50 norm," EcoMod2013 5855, EcoMod.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri D. Hole & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2005. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1611, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Babcock, Linda, et al, 1995. "Biased Judgments of Fairness in Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1337-43, December.
  10. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  11. Guth, Werner, 1995. "On ultimatum bargaining experiments -- A personal review," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 329-344, August.
  12. BOSMANS, Kristof & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2007. "Equality preference in the claims problem: A questionnaire study of cuts in earnings and pensions," CORE Discussion Papers 2007030, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  14. Chiu, Y. Stephen & Rachel Yang, B., 1999. "The outside option, threat point, and Nash bargaining solution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 181-188, February.
  15. Bhatt, Meghana & Camerer, Colin F., 2005. "Self-referential thinking and equilibrium as states of mind in games: fMRI evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 424-459, August.
  16. Simon Gächter & Arno Riedl, 2005. "Moral Property Rights in Bargaining with Infeasible Claims," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(2), pages 249-263, February.
  17. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
  18. Simon Gächter & Arno Riedl, 2006. "Dividing Justly in Bargaining Problems with Claims," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 571-594, December.
  19. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  20. Kagel, John H. & Kim, Chung & Moser, Donald, 1996. "Fairness in Ultimatum Games with Asymmetric Information and Asymmetric Payoffs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 100-110, March.
  21. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  22. Ismael Rodriguez-Lara & Luis Moreno-Garrido, 2012. "Self-interest and fairness: self-serving choices of justice principles," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 158-175, March.
  23. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
  24. Guth, Werner & Tietz, Reinhard, 1990. "Ultimatum bargaining behavior : A survey and comparison of experimental results," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 417-449, September.
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