The ultimatum game: Discrete vs. continuous offers

Miriam Dishon-Berkovits, Richard Berkovits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In many experimental setups in social-sciences, psychology and economy the subjects are requested to accept or dispense monetary compensation which is usually given in discrete units. Using computer and mathematical modeling we show that in the framework of studying the dynamics of acceptance of proposals in the ultimatum game, the long time dynamics of acceptance of offers in the game are completely different for discrete vs. continuous offers. For discrete values the dynamics follow an exponential behavior. However, for continuous offers the dynamics are described by a power-law. This is shown using an agent based computer simulation as well as by utilizing an analytical solution of a mean-field equation describing the model. These findings have implications to the design and interpretation of socio-economical experiments beyond the ultimatum game.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014


  • Agent-based model
  • Altruistic punishment
  • Fairness
  • Group dynamics
  • Power-law distribution
  • Ultimatum game

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'The ultimatum game: Discrete vs. continuous offers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this