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Ultimatum game: A meta-analysis of the past three decades of experimental research


  • Jean-Christian Tisserand



The ultimatum game undoubtely lists the largest experimental literature of the past three decades. In this article, we focus on the choice of the proposer of the ultimatum game and the explanatory variables that may influence the amount offered. We perform a meta-analysis with a total of 97 observations from simple ultimatum game gathered through 42 articles published between 1983 and 2012. While the theoretical prediction announces that the equilibrium offer should be zero, our results show that the weighted average offer is 42.3% of the amount at stake. Among the numerous variables studied, only being an economist has a significant impact on the amounts offered.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Christian Tisserand, 2014. "Ultimatum game: A meta-analysis of the past three decades of experimental research," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 0802032, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:sek:iacpro:0802032

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    Cited by:

    1. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2018. "Incentives," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2018-01, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    2. Gizatulina, Alia & Gorelkina, Olga, 2021. "Selling “Money” on eBay: A field study of surplus division," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 19-38.
    3. John P. A. Ioannidis & T. D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2017. "The Power of Bias in Economics Research," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(605), pages 236-265, October.
    4. repec:wly:econjl:v::y:2017:i:605:p:f236-f265 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Meta-analysis; Ultimatum game; Experimental economics; Microeconomics; Behavioral economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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