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Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis

Abstract

This paper reports the findings of a meta-analysis of 37 papers with 75 results from ultimatum game experiments. We find that on average the proposer offers 40% of the pie to the responder. This share is smaller for larger pie sizes and larger when a strategy method is used or when subjects are inexperienced. On average 16% of the offers is rejected. The rejection rate is lower for larger pie sizes and for larger shares offered. Responders are less willing to accept an offer when the strategy method is employed. As the results come from different countries, meta-analysis provides an alternative way to investigate whether bargaining behavior in ultimatum games differs across countries. We find differences in behavior of responders (and not of proposers) across geographical regions. With one exception, these differences cannot be attributed to various cultural traits on which for instance the cultural classifications of Hofstede (1991) and Inglehart (2000) are based.

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Oosterbeek, H., Sloof, R. & van de Kuilen, G. Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis. Experimental Economics 7, 171–188 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:EXEC.0000026978.14316.74

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/B:EXEC.0000026978.14316.74

  • ultimatum game
  • meta-analysis
  • cultural differences