IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Everyone Wants a Chance : Initial Positions and Fairness in Ultimatum Games

  • Grimalda, Gianluca

    (Universitat Jaume I, Castelló, Spain.)

  • Kar, Anirban

    (Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (University of Warwick)

Fairness emerges as a relevant factor in redistributive preferences in surveys and experiments. We study experimentally the impact of varying the probability with which players are assigned to initial positions in Ultimatum Games (UGs). In the baseline case players have equal opportunities of being assigned the proposer position –arguably the more advantaged one in UGs. Chances become increasingly unequal across three treatments. We also manipulate the inter-temporal allocation of opportunities over rounds. We find that : (1) The more initial chances are distributed unequally, the lower the acceptance rates of a given offer ; consequently, offers increase ; (2) Being assigned a mere 1% chance of occupying the proposer role compared to none, significantly increases acceptance rates and decreases offers ; (3) Players accept even extreme amounts of unequal chances within each round in exchange for overall equality of opportunities across rounds. Procedural fairness – both static and dynamic - has clear relevance for individuals.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 989.

in new window

Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:989
Contact details of provider: Postal: CV4 7AL COVENTRY
Phone: +44 (0) 2476 523202
Fax: +44 (0) 2476 523032
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  2. Krawczyk, Michal, 2010. "A glimpse through the veil of ignorance: Equality of opportunity and support for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 131-141, February.
  3. Justin Esarey & Timothy C. Salmon & Charles Barrilleaux, 2012. "What Motivates Political Preferences? Self-Interest, Ideology, And Fairness In A Laboratory Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(3), pages 604-624, 07.
  4. Marwell, Gerald & Ames, Ruth E., 1981. "Economists free ride, does anyone else? : Experiments on the provision of public goods, IV," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 295-310, June.
  5. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis & Melissa Osborne Groves, 2008. "Introduction to Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success
    [Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  6. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Schotter, A. & Weiss, A. & Zapater, I., 1993. "Fairness and Survival in Ultimatum and Dictatorship Games," Working Papers 93-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  8. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  9. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 699-746.
  11. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  12. F. Lelec & M. Krawczyk, 2010. "Give me a chance ! An experiment in social decision under risk," Post-Print hal-00675500, HAL.
  13. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
  14. Gächter, Simon & Thöni, Christian, 2010. "Social Comparison and Performance: Experimental Evidence on the Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 4687, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Stefan Trautmann, 2010. "Individual fairness in Harsanyi’s utilitarianism: operationalizing all-inclusive utility," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(4), pages 405-415, April.
  16. Giacomo Corneo & Christina M. Fong, 2006. "What’s the Monetary Value of Distributive Justice?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1706, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Karla Hoff & Priyanka Pandey, 2006. "Discrimination, Social Identity, and Durable Inequalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 206-211, May.
  18. Machina, Mark J, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency and Non-expected Utility Models of Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1622-68, December.
  19. Alice Becker & Luis M. Miller, 2009. "Promoting Justice by Treating People Unequally: An Experimental Study," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  20. Gideon Keren & Karl H. Teigen, 2010. "Decisions by coin toss: Inappropriate but fair," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5(2), pages 83-101, April.
  21. Gary E Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 2005. "Fair Procedures: Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 1054-1076, October.
  22. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 2012. "Fairness, risk preferences and independence: Impossibility theorems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 606-612.
  23. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  24. Alexander W. Cappelen & James Konow & Erik ?. S?rensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2013. "Just Luck: An Experimental Study of Risk-Taking and Fairness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1398-1413, June.
  25. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
  26. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2005. "Beyond outcomes: measuring procedural utility," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 90-111, January.
  27. Ruben Durante & Louis Putterman, 2007. "Preferences For Redistribution and Perception of Fairness: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 2007-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  28. Hessel Oosterbeek & Randolph Sloof & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2004. "Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 171-188, 06.
  29. Grimalday, Gianluca & Karz, Anirban & Proto, Eugenio, 2012. "Everyone Wants a Chance: Initial Positions and Fairness in Ultimatum Games," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 93, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  30. Olivier Armantier, 2006. "Do Wealth Differences Affect Fairness Considerations?," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-13, CIRANO.
  31. Edi Karni & Zvi Safra, 2002. "Individual Sense of Justice: A Utility Representation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 263-284, January.
  32. Michal Krawczyk & Fabrice Le Lec, 2010. "‘Give me a chance!’ An experiment in social decision under risk," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 500-511, December.
  33. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  34. Anand, Paul, 2001. "Procedural fairness in economic and social choice: Evidence from a survey of voters," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 247-270, April.
  35. Shaun Hargreaves-Heap & Yanis Varoufakis, 2002. "Some Experimental Evidence On The Evolution Of Discrimination, Co--Operation And Perceptions Of Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 679-703, July.
  36. Corneo, Giacomo & Gruner, Hans Peter, 2002. "Individual preferences for political redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 83-107, January.
  37. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:3:p:817-868 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  39. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  40. Barry Sopher & Edi Karni & Tim Salmon, 2001. "Individual Sense of Fairness: An Experimental Study," Departmental Working Papers 200107, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  41. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  42. Peter A. Diamond, 1967. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparison of Utility: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 765.
  43. Burrows, Paul & Loomes, Graham, 1994. "The Impact of Fairness on Bargaining Behaviour," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 201-21.
  44. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 2001. "Chivalry and Solidarity in Ultimatum Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 171-88, April.
  45. Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "A tractable model of process fairness under risk," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 803-813, October.
  46. Michal Krawczyk, 2011. "A model of procedural and distributive fairness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(1), pages 111-128, January.
  47. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
  48. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," Working Papers 02-06, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  49. Ruffle, Bradley J., 1998. "More Is Better, But Fair Is Fair: Tipping in Dictator and Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 247-265, May.
  50. Binmore, Ken & Morgan, Peter & Snaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1991. "Do people exploit their bargaining power? An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 295-322, August.
  51. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Wakker, Peter P., 2010. "Process fairness and dynamic consistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 187-189, December.
  52. 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.
  53. Hammond, P.J. & , ., 1987. "Consequentialist foundations for expected utility," CORE Discussion Papers 1987016, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  54. John List & Todd Cherry, 2000. "Learning to Accept in Ultimatum Games: Evidence from an Experimental Design that Generates Low Offers," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 11-29, June.
  55. David Dickinson, 2000. "Ultimatum decision-making: A test of reciprocal kindness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 151-177, March.
  56. Karl Schurter & Bart J. Wilson, 2009. "Justice and Fairness in the Dictator Game," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 130-145, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:989. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Helen Neal)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.