On the value of participation: Endogenous emergence of social norms in a three-player ultimatum game experiment

Gianluca Grimalda*, Anirban Kar, Eugenio Proto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

2 Citations (Scopus)


We report results from two different settings of a three-player ultimatum game. Under the "Monocratic" rule, a player is randomly selected to make an offer to two receivers. Under the "Democratic" rule, all three players make a proposal, and one proposal is then randomly selected. A majority vote is required to implement the proposal in either setting. Although the two rules are strategically equivalent, different patterns of behaviour emerge as the number of interactions increase. Under the "Monocratic" rule, proposers seem to be entitled to claim a larger share of the pie, and receivers are more likely to accept, than in the "Democratic" rule. We speculate that institutions allowing more participation in the process of collective choice lead to a more socially responsible behaviour in individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-147
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Review of Economics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008



  • Institutions
  • Majority ultimatum
  • Participation

Cite this