James Surowiecki on Ultimatum Game - Dictionary of Arguments
Ultimatum Game/bahavioral finance/Surowiecki: one of two players suggests how to divide the amount of e. g. 10 dollars. The other player may accept or reject the proposal. On acceptance, each of the two takes his or her share, if he or she rejects, they both go out empty-handed. (1)
Problem: the second player would have to be satisfied with a minimal result every time. A rational player will be aware of this and make a low offer to the other each time. In practice, however, extremely unfavourable offers are usually rejected. People prefer to be left empty-handed rather than accepting excessive discrimination.
Since the players suspect this - probably because they themselves would react in this way - extremely unattractive offers are rarely made. This behavior was observed in various regions of the world. (2)
Rationality/Surowiecki: this behaviour differs greatly from the "rational" theory of human behaviour, according to which people choose the best result for them.
Animals/Ultimatum game: it has been shown that female Capuchin monkeys react insultingly to unfair bargaining offers. (3)
Temporal Variation/Human Participants: in a variant of the ultimatum game, it appeared that a player owed his position to a better score in an earlier game. In this situation, the players accepted that this person received a higher share.
Dictator game: is a variant of the ultimatum game in which the second player cannot reject the offer.
1. Über Ultimatum-Spiele siehe Vernon L. Smith, »Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics«, American Economic Review 93/2003, S. 465-508.
2. Über Spielweisen von Ultimatum-Spielen in verschiedenen Ländern: Alvin E. Roth, Vesna Prasnikar, Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara Fujiwara und Shmuel Zamir, »Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo – An Experimental Study«, American Economic Review 81/1991, S. 1068-1095.
3. Sarah F. Brosnan und Frans B. M. de Waal, »Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay«, Nature 425/2003, S. 297ff._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
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