Altruism, reciprocity and health: A social experiment in restaurant choice
AbstractWe used an experimental game to determine whether people imitate restaurant choice, reciprocate food gifts, and thus spread health choices. We randomly paired 138 subjects and recorded their decision to give or keep restaurant vouchers and their choice of restaurant. The majority (83.3%) chose an unhealthy restaurant if their randomly assigned partner chose an unhealthy restaurant. Similarly, 77.8% chose a healthy restaurant if their partner did (p=0.005). The altruistic were more likely to choose a healthy restaurant (p=0.017). In sum, restaurant choice is influenced by reciprocity. A cycle of projection, gifting and reciprocation may explain the social dynamics of food choice. We propose policies that capitalize on people’s tendency towards altruism and imitation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.
Volume (Year): 37 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol
Altruism; Reciprocity; Restaurants; Health decisions; Trust games;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000.
"Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
336, CESifo Group Munich.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 2001. "The non-monetary nature of gifts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1793-1810, December.
- Mancino, Lisa & Todd, Jessica & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2009. "Separating what we eat from where: Measuring the effect of food away from home on diet quality," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 557-562, December.
- Stephen Toler & Brian C. Briggeman & Jayson L. Lusk & Damian C. Adams, 2009. "Fairness, Farmers Markets, and Local Production," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1272-1278.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
- Carmichael, H Lorne & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1997.
"Gift Giving and the Evolution of Cooperation,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(3), pages 485-509, August.
- Nicole M. Baran & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2010.
"Can we infer social preferences from the lab? Evidence from the trust game,"
NBER Working Papers
15654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baran, Nicole M. & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2010. "Can we infer social preferences from the lab? Evidence from the trust game," CEPR Discussion Papers 7634, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Mahmud, Minhaj & Martinsson, Peter, 2004.
"Does stake size matter in trust games?,"
Working Papers in Economics
140, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- Chang, Jae Bong & Lusk, Jayson L., 2009. "Fairness and food choice," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 483-491, December.
- Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
- James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2005. "On the Nature of Reciprocal Motives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 623-635, July.
- Ruffle, Bradley J., 1999. "Gift giving with emotions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 399-420, July.
- Just, David R. & Wansink, Brian & Mancino, Lisa & Guthrie, Joanne F., 2008. "Behavioral Economic Concepts To Encourage Healthy Eating in School Cafeterias: Experiments and Lessons From College Students," Economic Research Report 56489, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.