Homo Æqualis: A Cross-Society Experimental Analysis of Three Bargaining Games


  • CSAE Working Paper Series


  • Data from three bargaining games-the Dictator Game, the Ultimatum Game, and the Third-Party Punishment Game-played in 15 societies are presented. The societies range from US undergraduates to Amazonian, Arctic, and African hunter-gatherers. Behavior within the games varies markedly across societies. The paper investigates whether this behavioral diversity can be explained solely by variations in inequality aversion. Combining a single parameter utility function with the notion of subgame perfection generates a number of testable predictions. While most of these are supported, there are some telling divergences between theory and data: uncertainty and preferences relating to acts of vengeance may have influenced play in the Ultimatum and Third-Party Punishment Games; and a few subjects used the games as an opportunity to engage in costly signaling.

fecha de publicación

  • 2009

Líneas de investigación

  • Amazonas
  • Bargaining Games
  • Cross-Cultural Experiments
  • Inequality Aversion


  • febrero 2009