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Games 2016, 7(1), 3; doi:10.3390/g7010003

Partner Selection and the Division of Surplus: Evidence from Ultimatum and Dictator Experiments

1
Economic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata 700108, India
2
Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India
3
Department of Economics, Jadavpur University, Kolkata 700032, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ananish Chaudhuri
Received: 8 November 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental Studies of Social Dilemma Games)
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Abstract

We study ultimatum and dictator environments with one-way, unenforceable pre-play communication from the proposer to the recipient, semantically framed as a promise. After observing this promise regarding how much the proposer will offer if selected, in our treatment conditions, recipients choose whether or not to select a particular proposer. We find that offers can increase in the ultimatum game both with non-competitive selection with a single potential proposer, and more so with competition, where the recipient chooses one of two potential proposers, as compared to the no selection baseline. Furthermore, the offer is rejected with higher probability if the promisemade by the selected proposer is higher than the eventual offer. Our dictator environment does not give the power to reject offers, thus selection power carries no benefits in the dictator game. Finally, independent of the game institution or proposer selection mechanism, promises provide credible signals for offers. View Full-Text
Keywords: dictator and ultimatum games; non-binding communication with intent; partner selection; competing promises; credibility and credulity; C78; C91; D03 dictator and ultimatum games; non-binding communication with intent; partner selection; competing promises; credibility and credulity; C78; C91; D03
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Banerjee, P.; Chakravarty, S.; Ghosh, S. Partner Selection and the Division of Surplus: Evidence from Ultimatum and Dictator Experiments. Games 2016, 7, 3.

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