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When Culture does not matter: Experimental Evidence from Coalition Formation Ultimatum Games in Austria and Japan

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  • Akira Okada

    (Kyoto University)

  • Arno Riedl

    () (CREED, University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper reports the results of a cross-country comparison between Austria andJapan for an experimental 3-personcoalition formation ultimatum game. The experimental design allows thecomparison with respect to three decisions. (i)The coalition decision, (ii) proposers' demand behavior in 2- and 3-personultimatum subgames, and (iii) theresponders' behavior in these subgames. In contrast to other cross-culturalstudies in experimental bargainingenvironments we can not find any (significant) difference in behavior betweensubjects in Austria and Japan. Weattribute the behavioral similarities mainly to a subtle focal point andresponder competition effect, which wipe outpossible cultural differences. Our conclusion is that even in environments -like bargaining - where cultural differencesmay play a prominent role the show-up of these differences is highly sensitiveto the exact context in which people act.

Suggested Citation

  • Akira Okada & Arno Riedl, 1999. "When Culture does not matter: Experimental Evidence from Coalition Formation Ultimatum Games in Austria and Japan," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-043/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:19990043
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy Cason & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehiko Yamato, 2002. "Voluntary Participation and Spite in Public Good Provision Experiments: An International Comparison," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(2), pages 133-153, October.
    2. Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
    3. Burlando, Roberto & Hey, John D., 1997. "Do Anglo-Saxons free-ride more?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 41-60, April.
    4. Guth, Werner & Tietz, Reinhard, 1990. "Ultimatum bargaining behavior : A survey and comparison of experimental results," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 417-449, September.
    5. Lensberg, T. & van der Heijden, E.C.M., 1998. "A cross-cultural study of reciprocity, trust and altruism in a gift exchange experiment," Discussion Paper 1998-77, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Kachelmeier, Steven J. & Shehata, Mohamed, 1992. "Culture and competition: A laboratory market comparison between China and the West," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-168, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Okada, Akira & Riedl, Arno, 2005. "Inefficiency and social exclusion in a coalition formation game: experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 278-311, February.
    2. Calvin Blackwell & Michael McKee, 2010. "Is There a Bias Toward Contributing to Local Public Goods? Cultural Effects," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 243-257, January.
    3. Konow, James & Saijo, Tatsuyoshi & Akai, Kenju, 2016. "Equity versus Equality," MPRA Paper 75376, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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