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Preferences, Intentions, and Expectations: a Large-Scale Experiment with a Representative Subject Pool

  • Charles Bellemare
  • Sabine Kroger
  • Arthur van Soest

We specify and estimate an econometric model which separately identifies distributional preferences and the effects of perceived intentions on responder behavior in the ultimatum game. We allow the effects of perceived intentions to depend, among other things, on the subjective probabilities responders attach to the possible offers. We estimate the model on a large representative sample from the Dutch population. We find that the relative importance of distributional preferences ad perceived intentions depends significantly on the socio-economic characteristics of responders. Strong inequity aversion to the other player's disadvantage is found for lower educated and older respodents. Responders tend to punish unfavorable offers more if they expect that fair proposals will occur with higher probability.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0721.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0721
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  1. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kroger, 2005. "On representative social capital," Artefactual Field Experiments 00006, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2001. "The Relevance of Equal Splits in Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-169, October.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  5. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
  6. Güth, Werner & Schmidt, Carsten & Sutter, Matthias, 2001. "Fairness in the mail and opportunism in the internet: A newspaper experiment on ultimatum bargaining," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,42, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  7. Heike Hennig-Schmidt & Zhu-Yu Li & Chaoliang Yang, 2004. "Why People Reject Advantageous Offers – Non-monotone Strategies in Ultimatum Bargaining," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse22_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Oxoby, Robert J. & McLeish, Kendra N., 2004. "Sequential decision and strategy vector methods in ultimatum bargaining: evidence on the strength of other-regarding behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 399-405, September.
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  11. Bellemare, C. & Kroger, S. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2008. "Measuring inequity aversion in a heterogeneous population using experimental decisions and subjective probabilities," Other publications TiSEM f17bda32-98f9-4580-ab3f-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  12. James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2005. "On the Nature of Reciprocal Motives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 623-635, July.
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  14. Charness, Gary B & Brandts, Jordi, 1998. "Hot vs. Cold: Sequential Responses and Preference Stability in Experimental Games," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt4kx7d5pv, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  15. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "Testing Theories of Fairness - Intentions Matter," IEW - Working Papers 063, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  16. Manski, Charles F., 2002. "Identification of decision rules in experiments on simple games of proposal and response," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 880-891, May.
  17. Huck, Steffen, 1999. "Responder behavior in ultimatum offer games with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 183-206, April.
  18. Gary Charness & David I. Levine, 2007. "Intention and Stochastic Outcomes: An Experimental study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1051-1072, 07.
  19. Bahry, Donna L. & Wilson, Rick K., 2006. "Confusion or fairness in the field? Rejections in the ultimatum game under the strategy method," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 37-54, May.
  20. 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.
  21. Jeannette Brosig & Joachim Weimann & Chun-Lei Yang, 2003. "The Hot Versus Cold Effect in a Simple Bargaining Experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 75-90, June.
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