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Everyone Wants a Chance: Initial Positions and Fairness in Ultimatum Games

  • Gianluca Grimalda

    ()

    (LEE & Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)

  • Anirban Kar

    ()

    (Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India)

  • Eugenio Proto

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick, UK)

We investigate experimentally the modification of initial chances to acquire advantaged positions in bargaining problems. In the baseline case players have equal opportunities to acquire the advantaged position. Chances become increasingly unequal across three treatments. We find: (1) The more unequal initial chances, the lower acceptance rates of a given split; consequently inequality decreases. (2) Players react significantly to being assigned a purely symbolic 1% chance of occupying the advantaged position compared to having no chance; (3) Players respond to the way opportunities are distributed across periods of time. These results confirm and extend cross-national survey evidence concerning the relevance of procedural fairness for redistributive preferences.

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Paper provided by Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain) in its series Working Papers with number 2012/21.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2012/21
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