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Individual versus group behavior and the role of the decision making procedure in gift-exchange experiments

  • Kocher, Martin G.
  • Sutter, Matthias

We test for behavioral differences between groups and individuals in gift-exchange experiments. Related studies establish group behavior as typically closer to the game-theoretic equilibrium. We show that this result may depend crucially on the decision making procedure within groups. A novel decision making protocol opens up the black box of group decision making and allows to track important features of the group interaction process. We are able to show that the mere fact of being a group member shifts initial individual choices towards the game-theoretic equilibrium.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 18214.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Empirica 1 34(2007): pp. 63-88
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:18214
Contact details of provider: Postal: Ludwigstr. 28, 80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-3405
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Web page: http://www.vwl.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Kocher, Martin G. & Sutter, Matthias, 2005. "The decision maker matters: Individual versus group behaviour in experimental beauty-contest games," Munich Reprints in Economics 18213, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1995. "Gift Exchange and Reciprocity in Competitive Experimental Markets," Economics Series 14, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  5. Matthias Sutter & Ronald Bosman & Martin Kocher & Frans van Winden, 2003. "Experimental evidence of the importance of gender pairing in bargaining," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-27, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  6. Fellner, Gerlinde & Guth, Werner, 2003. "What limits escalation?--Varying threat power in an ultimatum experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 53-60, July.
  7. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Ronald Bosman & Heike Hennig-Schmidt & Frans vanWinden, 2002. "Exploring Group Behavior in a Power-to-Take Video Experiment," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse7_2002, University of Bonn, Germany, revised May 2002.
  11. Prather, Larry J. & Middleton, Karen L., 2002. "Are N+1 heads better than one?: The case of mutual fund managers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 103-120, January.
  12. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
  13. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  14. R. Lynn Hannan & John H. Kagel & Donald V. Moser, 2002. "Partial Gift Exchange in an Experimental Labor Market: Impact of Subject Population Differences, Productivity Differences, and Effort Requests on Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 923-951, October.
  15. Bettina Kuon & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Barbara Mathauschek, 1999. "Teams Take the Better Risks," Discussion Paper Serie B 452, University of Bonn, Germany.
  16. Kfir Eliaz & Debraj Ray & Ronny Razin, 2006. "Choice Shifts in Groups: A Decision-Theoretic Basis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1321-1332, September.
  17. Charness, Gary B, 1999. "Responsibility And Effort In An Experimental Labor Market," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7x98w91h, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  18. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Labor and Demography 0305001, EconWPA.
  19. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  20. Ronald Bosman & Heike Hennig-Schmidt & Frans Winden, 2006. "Exploring group decision making in a power-to-take experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 35-51, April.
  21. 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.
  22. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2001. "Are Two Heads Better Than One?: An Experimental Analysis of Group vs. Individual Decisionmaking," Working Papers 130, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  23. repec:att:wimass:9325 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Kocher, Martin G. & Strauß, Sabine & Sutter, Matthias, 2006. "Individual or team decision-making-Causes and consequences of self-selection," Munich Reprints in Economics 18162, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  25. Bone, John & Hey, John & Suckling, John, 1999. "Are Groups More (or Less) Consistent Than Individuals?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 63-81, April.
  26. 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.
  27. Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
  28. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  29. Matthias Sutter & Martin Kocher & Sabine Strau?, . "Individuals and teams in UMTS-license auctions," Working Papers 2007-23, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  30. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
  31. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 2001. "Chivalry and Solidarity in Ultimatum Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 171-88, April.
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