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Face Value

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  • Catherine C. Eckel
  • Ragan Petrie

Abstract

People pay attention to the appearance of others, and personal characteristics can affect many types of decisions. We ask, is there informational value in a face in a situation where trust and reciprocity can increase earnings? We use a laboratory trust game experiment where subjects are unable to observe a counterpart, must observe a counterpart, or can pay to reveal a counterpart's photograph. Both senders and responders are willing to pay to observe the photos, and we show that behavior, earnings, and efficiency are affected. When subjects are "face to face," efficiency is enhanced, and senders have higher earnings. (JEL D12, D83, Z13)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.4.1497
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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 1497-1513

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:4:p:1497-1513

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References

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  1. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 2001. "Chivalry and Solidarity in Ultimatum Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 171-88, April.
  2. Rosenblat, Tanya & Mobius, Markus, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," Scholarly Articles 3043406, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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  5. Solnick, Sara J. & Schweitzer, Maurice E., 1999. "The Influence of Physical Attractiveness and Gender on Ultimatum Game Decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 199-215, September.
  6. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
  7. Daniel Haile & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Harrie A. A Verbon, 2006. "Cross-Racial Envy and Underinvestment in South Africa," CESifo Working Paper Series 1657, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993. "Beauty and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2006. "Discrimination in the Lab: Experiments Exploring the Impact of Performance and Appearance on Sorting and Cooperation," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-20, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Dec 2006.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Shakun D. Mago & Anya C. Savikhin & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Facing Your Opponents: Social identification and information feedback in contests," Working Papers 12-15, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  2. Kai A. Konrad & Tim Lohse & Salmai Qari, 2013. "Dubious Versus Trustworthy Faces - What Difference Does it Make for Tax Compliance?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4373, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Busetta, Giovanni & Fiorillo, Fabio & Visalli, Emanuela, 2013. "Searching for a job is a beauty contest," MPRA Paper 49392, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Marco Faillo & Daniela Grieco & Luca Zarri, 2012. "Cultural Diversity, Cooperation, and Antisocial Punishment," Working Papers 09/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  5. Florian Englmaier & Sebastian Strasser & Joachim Winter, 2011. "Worker Characteristics and Wage Differentials: Evidence from a Gift-Exchange Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 3637, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Friesen, Jane & Arifovic, Jasmina & Wright, Stephen C. & Ludwig, Andreas & Giamo, Lisa & Baray, Gamze, 2012. "Ethnic identity and discrimination among children," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1156-1169.
  7. Redzo Mujcic & Paul Frijters, 2013. "Conspicuous Consumption, Conspicuous Health, and Optimal Taxation," Discussion Papers Series 483, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  8. Anya Savikhin & Roman Sheremeta, 2010. "Visibility of Contributions and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods," Working Papers 10-22, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  9. Anya Savikhin Samek & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2014. "When Identifying Contributors is Costly: An Experiment on Public Goods," Working Papers 14-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

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