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Homo Aequalis: A Cross-Society Experimental Analysis of Three Bargaining Games

Data from three bargaining games - the Dictator Game, the Ultimatum Game, and the Third-Party Punishment Game - played in 15 societies are presented.� The societies range from US undergraduates to Amazonian, Arctic, and African hunter-gatherers.� Behaviour within the games varies markedly across societies.� The paper investigates whether this behavioural diversity can be explained solely by variations in inequality aversion.� Combining a single parameter utility function with the notion of subgame perfection generates a number of testable predictions.� While most of these are supported, there are some telling divergencies between theory and data: uncertainty and preferences relating to acts of vengeance may have influenced play in the Ultimatum and Third-Party Punishment Games; and a few subjects used the games as an opportunity to engage in costly signalling

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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper422.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 422.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:422
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Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
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  1. James Andreoni & Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2005. "Revealing Preferences for Fairness in Ultimatum Bargaining," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000807, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
  3. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "Third Party Punishment and Social Norms," IEW - Working Papers 106, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Joseph Henrich, 2001. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 73-78, May.
  6. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  7. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
  8. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  10. James Andreoni & Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "What Do Bargainers' Preferences Look Like? Experiments with a Convex Ultimatum Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 672-685, June.
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