Testing for Differences Across Genders: Evidence from Ultimatum Game

Hamid Hasan, Nauman Ejaz

Abstract


This paper analyses the following propositions: (i) Are people
generally self-interested; (ii) If people tend to be generous, what is
their motive, i.e., whether they fear rejection or do they prefer
fairness; and (iii) Is there any behavioural difference in bargaining
between males and females? We conduct an ultimatum bargaining experiment
in a “same gender pairings” setting and observe the overall offers made
by the proposers and the rejection rates of the responders. In order to
test the second hypothesis we compare the offers that proposers
anticipate will be accepted by the responders and the offers they
actually make. If actual offer exceeds the minimum acceptable offer,
anticipated by the proposer, we conclude that he is fair minded,
otherwise, he is considered generous due to fear of rejection. In order
to test the third hypothesis, we compare the offers and responses made
by males and females in this game. Our results indicate that people on
average, are not self-interested and tend to exhibit generosity. This
behaviour is dictated by a fear of rejection rather than a concern for
fairness. Further, this fear of rejection is very realistic,
particularly, in the case of males, where the rejection rates for unfair
offers are very high. Regarding gender differences, we find females to
be more generous than males. However, reason for this generosity could
not be found, since there is no significant difference in the degree of
fairness or fear of rejection across the two genders. We also do not
find any conclusive evidence that females are more reciprocal than
males. Keywords: Ultimatum Game, Fairness, Reciprocity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v57i3pp.333-349

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