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Learning, Non-equilibrium Beliefs, and Non-pecuniary Payoffs in an Experimental Game


  • Miguel Costa-Gomes
  • Klaus G. Zauner


We present and estimate a parametric learning model of players' dynamic and possible out-of-equilibrium beliefs about other players'social preferences using the data from the four-country ultimatum game experiments of Roth et al. (1991). The model allows for each of the three leading factors that have been considered in the literature on these games: random utility, non-pecuniary preferences, and learning. We find evidence that in the US and in Israel, the estimated beliefs of proposers are stationary and out-of-equilibrium, that in Slovenia, they are in equilibrium, and that in Japan, they change from period to period and move away from equilibrium over time. On average, proposers and responders have negative regard for each other's monetary payoffs in all countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel Costa-Gomes & Klaus G. Zauner, "undated". "Learning, Non-equilibrium Beliefs, and Non-pecuniary Payoffs in an Experimental Game," Discussion Papers 00/59, Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:00/59

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Taniguchi, M. & Watanabe, Y., 1994. "Statistical Analysis of Curved Probability Densities," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 228-248, February.
    2. Phillips, Peter C B, 1977. "Approximations to Some Finite Sample Distributions Associated with a First-Order Stochastic Difference Equation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 463-485, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Weizsacker, Georg, 2003. "Ignoring the rationality of others: evidence from experimental normal-form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 145-171, July.
    2. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2008. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 729-762.
    3. Maria M. Wihardja, 2010. "Corruption In Public Procurement Auctions: Positive Equilibrium Analysis, Incentive Mechanism Design, And Empirical Study," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 35(1), pages 35-57, March.
    4. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2005. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism – Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 66, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    5. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Zauner, Klaus G., 2002. "The existence of equilibrium in games with randomly perturbed payoffs and applications to experimental economics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 115-120, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C19 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Other
    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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