The Role of Morals in Three-Player Ultimatum Games

Sandro Casal, Francesco Fallucchi, Simone Quercia
2018 Social Science Research Network  
We experimentally investigate the role of responders' moral concerns in three-player ultimatum bargaining. In our experiment, proposers can increase their share of the pie at the expenses of an NGO that conducts humanitarian aid in emergency areas. We find that responders are not willing to engage in 'immoral' transactions only when fully informed about proposers' behavior toward the NGO. Under complete information, their willingness to reject offers increases with the strength of the harm to
more » ... th of the harm to the NGO. Moreover, the possibility to nullify the effects of the negative externality through rejection further increases their willingness to reject. We show that the latter result is better explained by a model of consequentialist moral concerns toward the NGO rather than deontological morality about own actions. JEL classification codes C72, C91, D6 Abstract We experimentally investigate the role of responders' moral concerns in three-player ultimatum bargaining. In our experiment, proposers can increase their share of the pie at the expenses of an NGO that conducts humanitarian aid in emergency areas. We find that responders are not willing to engage in 'immoral' transactions only when fully informed about proposers' behavior toward the NGO. Under complete information, their willingness to reject offers increases with the strength of the harm to the NGO. Moreover, the possibility to nullify the effects of the negative externality through rejection further increases their willingness to reject. We show that the latter result is better explained by a model of consequentialist moral concerns toward the NGO rather than deontological morality about own actions.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.3267124 fatcat:4bvuosxqibe67bhxv757d3yabi