Anonymous Sharing Behavior in Web Experiments with Different Balance of Power
33 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2015 Last revised: 22 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 19, 2015
We study the joint influence of anonymity and power balance on sharing behavior in bargaining interactions. To reach such a goal, we perform an innovative Web experiment based on the Ultimatum Game. The proposed experimental setting ensures strict anonymity conditions, prevents the 'wind-fall effect' and includes three different scenarios of power balance, which were designed to clearly differentiate self- and fairness-oriented preferences. Our results suggest a heterogeneity of players. Some present a behaviour according to selfish preferences, others to fairness-oriented ones, and some to other, to context-based principles like the exercise of 'the power of the last word' to punish unfair proposals. This study raises a number of further questions that need to be addressed in future experiments on bargaining behavior. For example, it is shown that the currently most established behavioral theories may need to be further improved or revised.
Keywords: ultimatum game, web experiments, ultimatum game, anonymity, power balance
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