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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrike Vollstädt & Robert Böhm, 2012. "Are groups more rational, more competitive or more prosocial bargainers?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-048, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-048
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Wolfgang Luhan & Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Group polarization in the team dictator game reconsidered," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 26-41, March.
    3. 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," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 646-657, December.
    4. 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.
    5. 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 1465-1483, September.
    6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    7. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational” Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
    8. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    alternating offers bargaining experiment; inter-group behavior; inter-individual behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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