Bargaining by Children

University of Oregon Economics Working Paper No. 2002-4

40 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2003

See all articles by William T. Harbaugh

William T. Harbaugh

University of Oregon - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kate Krause

University of New Mexico - Department of Economics; Honors College

Steven J. Liday

University of Oregon - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 1, 2003

Abstract

We study the development of bargaining behavior in children age seven through 18, using ultimatum and dictator games. We find that bargaining behavior changes substantially with age and that most of this change appears to be related to changes in preferences for fairness, rather than bargaining ability. Younger children make and accept smaller ultimatum proposals than do older children, Even young children are quite strategic in their behavior, making much smaller dictator than ultimatum proposals. Boys claim to be more aggressive bargainers than girls do, but they are not. Older girls make larger dictator proposals than older boys, but overall participants dictator proposals differ more by height than by sex. We argue that the existence of systematic differences in bargaining behavior across age and sex supports the argument that culture is a determinant of economic behavior, and suggests that people acquire this culture during childhood.

Keywords: children, bargaining, dictator game, ultimatum game

JEL Classification: C70, D10, D63

Suggested Citation

Harbaugh, William T. and Krause, Kate and Liday, Steven J., Bargaining by Children (March 1, 2003). University of Oregon Economics Working Paper No. 2002-4, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=436504 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.436504

William T. Harbaugh (Contact Author)

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-346-1244 (Phone)
541-346-1243 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kate Krause

University of New Mexico - Department of Economics ( email )

1915 Roma NE/Economics Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

Honors College ( email )

107 Humanitites Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131-1221
United States

Steven J. Liday

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403-1285
United States

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