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Group Decision-Making and Voting in Ultimatum Bargaining: An Experimental Study

  • Alexander Elbittar

    (alexander.elbittar@cide.edu)

  • Andrei Gomberg

    (gomberg@itam.mx)

  • Laura Sour

    (laura.sour@cide.edu)

Many rent-sharing decisions in a society result from a bargaining process between groups of individuals (such as between the executive and the legislative branches of government, between legislative factions, between corporate management and shareholders, etc.). We conduct a laboratory study of the effect of different voting procedures on group decision-making in the context of ultimatum bargaining. Earlier studies have suggested that when the bargaining game is played by unstructured groups of agents, rather than by individuals, the division of the payoff is substantially affected in favor of the ultimatum-proposers. Our theoretical arguments suggest that one explanation for this could be implicit voting rules within groups. We explicitly structure the group decision-making as voting and study the impact of different voting rules on the bargaining outcome. The observed responder behavior is consistent with preferences depending solely on payoff distribution. Furthermore, we observe that proposers react in an expected manner to changes in voting rule in the responder group.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/exp/papers/0511/0511002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0511002.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 14 Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0511002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 41
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2000. "Alliances and Negotiations," Working Papers 424, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  2. Kennan, J. & Wilson, R., 1991. "Bargaining with Private Information," Working Papers 90-01rev, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  3. Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt731230f8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Charness, Gary & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "Group play in games and the role of consent in network formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 417-445, September.
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  10. Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Individual versus group behavior and the role of the decision making procedure in gift-exchange experiments," Empirica, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 63-88, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational†Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
  13. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Chae, Suchan & Heidhues, Paul, 2004. "A group bargaining solution," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-53, July.
  15. 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.
  16. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1979. "Bureaucrats versus Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation by Direct Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 563-87, November.
  17. Robert, Christopher & Carnevale, Peter J., 1997. "Group Choice in Ultimatum Bargaining," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 256-279, November.
  18. Brit Grosskopf, 2003. "Reinforcement and Directional Learning in the Ultimatum Game with Responder Competition," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 141-158, October.
  19. Gary Bornstein & Tamar Kugler & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2002. "Individual and Group Decisions in the Centipede Game: Are Groups More “Rational” Players?," Discussion Paper Series dp298, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  20. Kagel, John H. & Kim, Chung & Moser, Donald, 1996. "Fairness in Ultimatum Games with Asymmetric Information and Asymmetric Payoffs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 100-110, March.
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