The Ultimatum Game and Gender Effect: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan

Shahid Razzaque


Laboratory experimentation was once considered impossible or
irrelevant in economics. Recently, however, economic science has gone
through a real ‘laboratory revolution’, and experimental economics is
now a most lively subfield of the discipline. This study attempts to
examine answers to questions of the changing behaviour of opposite sexes
under conditions of both anonymity and knowledge of gender by playing
the ultimatum game in Pakistan. It is observed that the behaviour of
males and females in Pakistani society is quite different from that
found in earlier studies. Insights from the previous experiments have
already shown that normative economic theory had failed in its
predictions of human behaviour. Currently, the ultimatum game is widely
discussed in behavioural economic literature, and this paper will adjust
the traditional ultimatum game into a new form wherein it will be tested
in the country (Pakistan) with multidimensional behaviour of subjects.
With regard to gender effect specifically, all previous studies came up
with somewhat mixed results, since results do not always point in the
same direction and it is rather early to draw far-reaching conclusions
regarding the behavioural differences of men and women. More facts are
required in order to move towards the development of a systematic
theory. This work is a small attempt to investigate the changing
behaviour of opposite sexes under different controlled

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