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Is Reputation Good or Bad? An Experiment

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  • Brit Grosskopf
  • Rajiv Sarin

Abstract

We investigate the impact of reputation in a laboratory experiment. We do so by varying whether the past choices of a long-run player are observable by the short-run players. Our framework allows for reputation to have either a beneficial or a harmful effect on the long-run player. We find that reputation is seldom harmful and its beneficial effects are not as strong as theory suggests. When reputational concerns are at odds with other-regarding preferences, we find th latter overwhelm the former. (JEL C91, D12, D82, D83, Z13)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 2187-2204

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:5:p:2187-2204

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  1. John A. List, 2006. "The Behavioralist Meets the Market: Measuring Social Preferences and Reputation Effects in Actual Transactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-37, February.
  2. Brandts, J. & Figueras, N., 1997. "An Exploration of Reputation Formation in Experimental Games," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 404.97, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  5. Neral, John & Ochs, Jack, 1992. "The Sequential Equilibrium Theory of Reputation Building: A Further Test," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1151-69, September.
  6. Cochard, Francois & Nguyen Van, Phu & Willinger, Marc, 2004. "Trusting behavior in a repeated investment game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 31-44, September.
  7. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  8. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1988. "Experimental Tests of a Sequential Equilibrium Reputation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-36, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Li, Lingfang (Ivy) & Xiao, Erte, 2010. "Money Talks? An Experimental Study of Rebate in Reputation System Design," MPRA Paper 22401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Gary E. Bolton & Ben Greiner & Axel Ockenfels, 2009. "Engineering Trust - Reciprocity in the Production of Reputation Information," Discussion Papers 2009-02, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  3. Jeffrey V. Butler & Enrica Carbone & Pierluigi Conzo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2012. "Reputation and Entry," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 045, University of Siena.
  4. Viceisza, Angelino, 2008. "An experimental inquiry into the effect of yardstick competition on corruption:," IFPRI discussion papers 774, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Luis Cabral & Lingfang (Ivy) Li, 2012. "A Dollar for Your Thoughts: Feedback-Conditional Rebates on eBay," Working Papers 12-13, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.

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