A Joint Programme of Friedrich Schiller University and the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena

Will You Accept Without Knowing What? - A Thuringian Newspaper Experiment of the Yes-No Game

Werner GŁth and Oliver Kirchkamp

Many economic experiments are run in the laboratory with students as participants. In this paper we use a newspaper experiment to learn more about external validity of lab research. Our workhorse is the Yes-No game. Unlike in ultimatum games responders of the Yes-No games do not know the proposal when deciding between whether to accept it or not. We use two different amounts that can be shared (100Euro and 1000Euro). Unlike in other experiments with the ultimatum game we find a (small) effect of the size of the stakes. In line with findings for the ultimatum game, we find more generosity among women, older participants, and participants who submit their decision via mail rather than via Internet. By comparing our results with other studies (using executives or students), we demonstrate, at least for this type of game, the external validity of lab research.

Keywords: newspaper experiment; external validity; Yes-No game

JEL-Code: C91, C93

  • On 25 February 2012 the paper has been accepted for publication in Experimental Economics. The article can be cited as Werner GŁth and Oliver Kirchkamp, Experimental Economics, 2012, doi:10.1007/s10683-012-9319-7
  • Here is the most recent working paper version as of 22 February 2012
  • An earlier version of the paper as of 17 January 2010 is available as Jena Economic Research Paper 2010-006