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Procedural Justice in Simple Bargaining Games

  • Mikhael Shor

    (University of Connecticut)

I consider several variants of dictator and ultimatum games in which the proposer not only offers an allocation of funds but also selects the rules that will govern that distribution. In the dictator/ultimatum choice game, the proposer first selects whether or not the receiver will have the power to reject the offer. Effectively, the proposer decides between playing a dictator and an ultimatum game. Whether a player is self-regarding or motivated by distributive concerns, the player should elect the dictator game as it enables full control over the allocation. Yet, a majority of subjects select the ultimatum game. Further, even those selecting the dictator game make substantially higher offers than those in a control dictator experiment. Additional experiments and surveys explore various explanations for these results. The additional experiments suggest that players’ willingness to share decision-making power with other players is quite robust. I conclude that subjects have an innate preference for “voice,” a key component of procedural justice. JEL Classification: C91, C70, A12 Key words:

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2012-25.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2012-25
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Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Michael Lokshin & Zurab Sajaia, 2004. "Maximum likelihood estimation of endogenous switching regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 282-289, September.
  2. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  4. Ben-Ner, Avner & Putterman, Louis & Kong, Fanmin & Magan, Dan, 2004. "Reciprocity in a two-part dictator game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 333-352, March.
  5. Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon, 2002. "Using the Machiavellianism instrument to predict trustworthiness in a bargaining game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 49-66, February.
  6. Nelson, William Jr., 2002. "Equity or intention: it is the thought that counts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 423-430, August.
  7. Pamela Schmitt, 2004. "On Perceptions of Fairness: The Role of Valuations, Outside Options, and Information in Ultimatum Bargaining Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 49-73, February.
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