The Relevance of Relative Position in Ultimatum Games
Miller Moya, Luis Miguel
Ubeda Molla, Paloma
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This paper investigates the effect of focal points and initial relative position in the outcome of a bargaining process. We conduct two on-line experiments. In the first experiment we attempt to replicate Güth, Huck and Müller's (2001) results about the relevance of equal splits. In our second experiment, we recover the choices of participants in forty mini-ultimatum games. This design allows us to test whether the equal split or any other distribution or set of distributions are salient. Our data provide no support for a focal-point explanation but we find support for an explanation based on relative position. Our results confirm that there is a norm against hyper-fair offers. Proposers are expected to behave selfishly when the unselfish distribution leads to a change in the initial relative position.