Kurtis Swope

Pre-Commitment and Personality:
Behavioral Explanations in Ultimatum Games

Pamela Schmitt
United States Naval Academy
Department of Economics

Robert Shupp
Ball State University
Department of Economics

Kurtis Swope
United States Naval Academy
Department of Economics

Justin Mayer
United States Naval Academy
Department of Economics

Abstract

In a laboratory ultimatum bargaining experiment, responder behavior is more consistent with game-theoretic predictions when responders indicate a binding minimum acceptable offer (MAO) or when rejection penalizes a “hostage” third player. In general, female subjects indicated higher MAOs but had a much greater reaction than males to the presence of a third player. Offers increase in the presence of a binding MAO but are not affected by a third player. Behavior in our experiment is also generally consistent with hypotheses based on a popular personality test instrument.

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