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Are groups more rational, more competitive or more prosocial bargainers?

  • Ulrike Vollstädt

    ()

    (Jena Graduate School "Human Behaviour in Social and Economic Change", University of Jena)

  • Robert Böhm

    ()

    (Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioral Scienes (CEREB), University of Erfurt)

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    In reality, it is often groups rather than individuals that make decisions. In previous experiments, groups have frequently been shown to act differently from individuals in several ways. It has been claimed that inter-group interactions may be (1) more competitive, (2) more rational, or (3) more prosocial than inter-individual interactions. While some of these observed differences may be due to differences in the experimental designs, it is still not clear which of the three motivations is prevailing as they have often been behaviorally confounded in previous experiments. We use Rubinstein's alternating offers bargaining game to compare inter-individual with inter-group behavior since it allows separating the predictions of competitive, rational and prosocial behavior. We find that groups are, on average, more rational bargainers than individuals.

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    File URL: http://pubdb.wiwi.uni-jena.de/pdf/wp_2012_048.pdf
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    Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2012-048.

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    Date of creation: 23 Aug 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-048
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    1. Kugler, Tamar & Bornstein, Gary & Kocher, Martin G. & Sutter, Matthias, 2007. "Trust between individuals and groups: Groups are less trusting than individuals but just as trustworthy," Munich Reprints in Economics 18202, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
    3. Wolfgang Luhan & Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Group polarization in the team dictator game reconsidered," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 26-41, March.
    4. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-83, September.
    5. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational†Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
    6. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Gary Bornstein & Tamar Kugler & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2002. "Individual and Group Decisions in the Centipede Game: Are Groups More “Rational” Players?," Discussion Paper Series dp298, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    8. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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