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The relevance of equal splits: On a behavioral discontinuity in ultimatum games

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  • Güth, Werner
  • Huck, Steffen
  • Müller, Wieland

Abstract

The findings on the ultimatum game are considered as belonging to the most robust experimental results. In this paper we present a slightly altered version of the mini ultimatum game of Bolton and Zwick (1995). Whereas in the latter exactly equal splits were feasible in our games these were replaced by nearly equal splits favoring (slightly) the proposer in one version and the responder in a second version. Such a minor change should not matter if behavior was robust. We found, however, a behavioral discontinuity in the sense that fair offers occur less often when equal splits are replaced by nearly equal splits. This has implications for theories incorporating fairness into economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Güth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Müller, Wieland, 1998. "The relevance of equal splits: On a behavioral discontinuity in ultimatum games," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,7, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:19987
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    1. Bolton, Gary E, 1991. "A Comparative Model of Bargaining: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1096-1136, December.
    2. Bolton Gary E. & Zwick Rami, 1995. "Anonymity versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-121, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2000. "Hot vs. Cold: Sequential Responses and Preference Stability in Experimental Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(3), pages 227-238, March.
    2. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2000. "Perfect versus Imperfect Observability--An Experimental Test of Bagwell's Result," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 174-190, May.
    3. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 1999. "Social preferences: Some simple tests and a new model," Economics Working Papers 441, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2000.
    4. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2003. "On the Nature of Fair Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(1), pages 20-26, January.

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