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Bargaining over waiting time in ultimatum game experiments


Berger, Roger; Rauhut, Heiko; Prade, Simone; Helbing, Dirk (2012). Bargaining over waiting time in ultimatum game experiments. Social Science Research, 41(2):372-379.

Abstract

While preference-based explanations play an increasing role in economics and sociology, the accurate measurement of social preferences deserves more attention. Most laboratory experiments measure social preferences by studying the division of ‘‘a cake that nobody had to bake’’ (Güth and Kliemt, 2003). This article reports results of the first ultimatum game experiment with bargaining over waiting time. The experiment was created to avoid effects of windfall gains. In contrast to donated money, time is not endowed by the experimenter and implies a natural loss to subjects. This allows for a better measurement of the inherent conflict in the ultimatum game. We implemented three anonymity conditions; one baseline condition, one condition with anonymity among subjects and one doubleblind condition in which the experimenter did not know the division of waiting time. While we expected to observe less other-regarding behavior in ultimatum game bargaining over time, our experimental results rather confirm previous ultimatum game experiments, in which people bargained over money. The modal offer was half of the waiting time and only one offer was rejected. Interestingly, anonymity did not change the results significantly. In conclusion, our experiment confirms other-regarding behavior in the ultimatum game.

Abstract

While preference-based explanations play an increasing role in economics and sociology, the accurate measurement of social preferences deserves more attention. Most laboratory experiments measure social preferences by studying the division of ‘‘a cake that nobody had to bake’’ (Güth and Kliemt, 2003). This article reports results of the first ultimatum game experiment with bargaining over waiting time. The experiment was created to avoid effects of windfall gains. In contrast to donated money, time is not endowed by the experimenter and implies a natural loss to subjects. This allows for a better measurement of the inherent conflict in the ultimatum game. We implemented three anonymity conditions; one baseline condition, one condition with anonymity among subjects and one doubleblind condition in which the experimenter did not know the division of waiting time. While we expected to observe less other-regarding behavior in ultimatum game bargaining over time, our experimental results rather confirm previous ultimatum game experiments, in which people bargained over money. The modal offer was half of the waiting time and only one offer was rejected. Interestingly, anonymity did not change the results significantly. In conclusion, our experiment confirms other-regarding behavior in the ultimatum game.

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14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:28 Dec 2012 09:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:11
Publisher:Elsevier
Series Name:Social Science Research
ISSN:0049-089X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2011.09.009

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