Participation costs for responders can reduce rejection rates in ultimatum bargaining
This paper reports data from an ultimatum mini-game in which responders first had to choose whether or not to participate. Participation was costly, but the participation cost was smaller than the minimum payoff that a responder could guarantee himself in the ultimatum game. Compared to a standard treatment, we find that the rejection rate of unfavorable offers is significantly reduced when participation is costly. A possible explanation based on cognitive dissonance is offered.
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