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Evidence of general economic principles of bargaining and trade from 2,000 classroom experiments

Lin, Po-Hsuan and Brown, Alexander L. and Imai, Taisuke and Wang, Joseph Tao-yi and Wang, Stephanie W. and Camerer, Colin F. (2020) Evidence of general economic principles of bargaining and trade from 2,000 classroom experiments. Nature Human Behaviour, 4 (9). pp. 917-927. ISSN 2397-3374.

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Standardized classroom experiments provide evidence about how well scientific results reproduce when nearly identical methods are used. We use a sample of around 20,000 observations to test reproducibility of behaviour in trading and ultimatum bargaining. Double-auction results are highly reproducible and are close to equilibrium predictions about prices and quantities from economic theory. Our sample also shows robust correlations between individual surplus and trading order, and autocorrelation of successive price changes, which test different theories of price dynamics. In ultimatum bargaining, the large dataset provides sufficient power to identify that equal-split offers are accepted more often and more quickly than slightly unequal offers. Our results imply a general consistency of results across a variety of different countries and cultures in two of the most commonly used designs in experimental economics.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access Paper ItemData/Code
Lin, Po-Hsuan0000-0003-3437-1734
Brown, Alexander L.0000-0002-5582-5304
Imai, Taisuke0000-0002-0610-8093
Wang, Joseph Tao-yi0000-0001-6786-8099
Wang, Stephanie W.0000-0002-7936-9091
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Alternate Title:General Economic Principles of Bargaining and Trade: Evidence From 2,000 Classroom Experiments
Additional Information:© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2020. Received 31 May 2019; Accepted 24 June 2020; Published 03 August 2020. T.I. was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through CRC TRR 190. J.T.W. was supported by CRETA, National Taiwan University (NTU-107L900203 and MOST 107-3017-F-002-004) and the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan (MOST 106-2628-H-002-001-MY4). C.F.C was supported by the Behavioral and Neuroeconomics Discovery Fund at Caltech (through the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript. We thank T. Cason, J. Duffy, D. Friedman, M. Hsu, M. O. Jackson, J. O. Ledyard, C. R. Plott and audiences at Bay Area Behavioral and Experimental Economics Workshop, the ESA North American Conference, Barcelona GSE Summer Forum (External Validity, Generalizability and Replicability of Economic Experiments), Chapman University and Caltech (Applied Microeconomics Lunch) for helpful feedback. We also thank the MobLab engineering team for technical assistance. Data availability: Double auction and ultimatum game data can be found on the Open Science Framework Code availability: Code for all analyses can be found on the Open Science Framework Author Contributions: T.I., S.W.W. and C.F.C designed the research. P.L., A.L.B., T.I., J.T.W. and S.W.W. analysed the data. P.L., A.L.B., T.I., J.T.W., S.W.W. and C.F.C wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and implications and commented on the manuscript. Competing interests: The data used were shared from MobLab, a for-profit startup educational platform. The data availability is an in-kind contribution to all authors (although note that the data are available for purposes of analysis reproduction and extended analyses). P.L. was employed by MobLab from December 2017 to December 2018 and compensated more than US$10,000 during the last 3 years. A.L.B. was a visiting senior economist at MobLab from 22 January 2018 to 20 July 2018 and compensated more than US$10,000. T.I. has no competing interests. J.T.W. was a visiting senior economist at MobLab from 25 June 2018 to 7 September 2018 and is the John O. Ledyard Endowed Chair Professor of Experimental Economics at National Taiwan University, funded by contributions of more than US$10,000 to the university endowment fund from MobLab. S.W.W. holds an ownership stake in MobLab as a cofounder. She was compensated more than US$10,000 in 2018–2019. C.F.C. is a Scientific Advisor to MobLab, a position with no compensation but with a small ownership stake instead.
Group:Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)CRC TRR 190
National Taiwan UniversityNTU-107L900203
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)MOST 107-3017-F-002-004
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)MOST 106-2628-H-002-001-MY4
Behavioral and Neuroeconomics Discovery FundUNSPECIFIED
MacArthur FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Economics; Psychology
Issue or Number:9
Classification Code:JEL codes: C88, D44, C78
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200327-123943826
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Lin, P., Brown, A.L., Imai, T. et al. Evidence of general economic principles of bargaining and trade from 2,000 classroom experiments. Nat Hum Behav 4, 917–927 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102146
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Mar 2020 21:04
Last Modified:19 Feb 2021 19:29

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