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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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References

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  1. Brandts, Jordi & Figueras, Neus, 2003. "An exploration of reputation formation in experimental games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 89-115, January.
  2. John List, 2006. "The behavioralist meets the market: Measuring social preferences and reputation effects in actual transactions," Natural Field Experiments 00300, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  4. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1988. "Experimental Tests of a Sequential Equilibrium Reputation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-36, January.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey V. Butler & Enrica Carbone & Pierluigi Conzo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2012. "Reputation and Entry," EIEF Working Papers Series 1215, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Nov 2012.
  2. Angelino Viceisza, 2007. "An experimental inquiry into the effect of yardstick competition on corruption," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2007-09, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  3. Gary Bolton & Ben Greiner & Axel Ockenfels, 2009. "Engineering Trust - Reciprocity in the Production of Reputation Information," Working Paper Series in Economics 42, University of Cologne, Department of Economics, revised 22 Jan 2011.
  4. 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.
  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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