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Group reputations: An experimental foray

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  • Huck, Steffen
  • Lünser, Gabriele K.

Abstract

Often information structures are such that while individual reputation building is impossible groups of agents would have the opportunity of building up a reputation. We experimentally examine whether groups of sellers in markets that suffer from moral hazard are able to build up reputations and, thus, avoid market breakdown. We contrast our findings with situations where sellers alternatively can build up an individual reputation or where there are no possibilities for reputation building at all. Our results offer a comparatively optimistic outlook on group reputations as long as groups are small. Even though sellers only receive some of the reputation benefits of withstanding short-run incentives to exploit trust, they are able to overcome the dilemma and successfully exploit the information structure. However, the ability to build successful group reputations depends on group size with trust breaking down in larger groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 73 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 153-157

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:73:y:2010:i:2:p:153-157

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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Keywords: Trust Group reputations Moral hazard Information conditions;

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References

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  1. James Andreoni & John H Miller, 1997. "Rational Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma: experimental evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 670, David K. Levine.
  2. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1988. "Experimental Tests of a Sequential Equilibrium Reputation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-36, January.
  3. Tirole, Jean, 1996. "A Theory of Collective Reputations (with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality)," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 1-22, January.
  4. R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
  5. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  6. Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2004. "How Effective Are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1587-1602, November.
  7. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
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Cited by:
  1. Marianne Lumeau & David Masclet & Thierry Pénard, 2013. "Reputation and Social (Dis)approval in Feedback Mechanisms: An Experimental study," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201343, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  2. Saak, Alexander, 2011. "Collective reputation, social norms, and participation:," IFPRI discussion papers 1107, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. McIntosh, Craig & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Buck, Steven & Rosada, Tomas, 2013. "Reputation in a public goods game: Taking the design of credit bureaus to the lab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 270-285.

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