The Entitlement Effect in the Ultimatum Game - Does it Even Exist?

Reprint No. 2020:44

Author(s): Elif E. Demiral and Johanna MöllerströmYear: 2020 Title: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization Volume (No.): 175 (July) Pages: 341–352
Online article (restrictions may apply)

Since the seminal paper of Hoffman et al. (1994), an entitlement effect is believed to exist in the Ultimatum Game, in the sense that proposers who have earned their role (as opposed to having it randomly allocated) offer a smaller share of the pie to their matched responder. The entitlement effect is at the core of experimental Public Choice – not just because it concerns the topics of bargaining and negotiations, but also because it relates to the question about under which circumstances actors behave more rational. We conduct three experiments, two in the laboratory and one online, with more than 1,250 participants. Our original motivation was to study gender differences, but ultimately we could not replicate the entitlement effect in the Ultimatum Game in any of our three experiments. Potential reasons for why the replication attempts fail are discussed.

Demiral, Elif E. and Johanna Möllerström (2020), "The Entitlement Effect in the Ultimatum Game - Does it Even Exist?". Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 175(July), 341–352.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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