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Are we nice(r) to nice(r) people?—An experimental analysis

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  • Max Albert

    ()

  • Werner Güth

    ()

  • Erich Kirchler

    ()

  • Boris Maciejovsky

    ()

Abstract

We experimentally investigate whether individuals can reliably detect cooperators (the nice(r) people) in an anonymous decision environment involving “connected games.†Participants can condition their choices in an asymmetric prisoners’ dilemma and a trust game on past individual (their partner’s donation share to a self-selected charity) and social (whether their partner belongs to a group with high or low average donations) information. Thus, the two measures of niceness are the individual donation share in the donation task, and the cooperativeness of one’s choice in the two games. We find that high donors achieve a higher-than-average expected payoff by cooperating predominantly with other high donors. Group affiliation proved to be irrelevant. Copyright Economic Science Association 2007

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 53-69

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:10:y:2007:i:1:p:53-69

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

Related research

Keywords: Game theory; Conditional cooperation; Connected games; Donation behavior;

References

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  1. Camerer, Colin F. & Knez, Marc & Weber, Roberto A., 1996. "Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and Weak Link Coordination Games," Working Papers 970, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. R. Muller & Asha Sadanand, 2003. "Order of Play, Forward Induction, and Presentation Effects in Two-Person Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 5-25, June.
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  4. Andreoni, James & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Building rational cooperation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 117-154, March.
  5. Rachel Croson & Enrique Fatás & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "Reciprocity, Matching and Conditional Cooperation in Two Public Goods Games," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/32, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  6. Albert, Max & Heiner, Ronald Asher, 2001. "An Indirect-Evolution Approach to Newcomb's Problem," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 2001-01, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
  7. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
  8. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
  9. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior - Testing ‘Conditional Cooperation’ in a Field Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 162, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Bornstein, Gary & Winter, Eyal & Goren, Harel, 1996. "Experimental study of repeated team-games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 629-639, December.
  11. Johnson, Philip & Levine, David K. & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 2001. "Evolution and Information in a Gift-Giving Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 1-21, September.
  12. Clark, Kenneth & Sefton, Martin, 2001. "The Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma: Evidence on Reciprocation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 51-68, January.
  13. Sainty, Barbara, 1999. "Achieving greater cooperation in a noisy prisoner's dilemma: an experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 421-435, July.
  14. Seinen, Ingrid & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Social status and group norms: Indirect reciprocity in a repeated helping experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 581-602, April.
  15. Congleton, Roger D. & Vanberg, Viktor J., 2001. "Help, harm or avoid? On the personal advantage of dispositions to cooperate and punish in multilateral PD games with exit," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 145-167, February.
  16. M. Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 153-169, 06.
  17. Roberto Weber & Colin Camerer & Marc Knez, 2004. "Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and “Weak Link†Coordination Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 25-48, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fehrler, Sebastian & Przepiorka, Wojtek, 2013. "Charitable Giving as a Signal of Trustworthiness: Disentangling the Signaling Benefits of Altruistic Acts," IZA Discussion Papers 7148, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Cason, Timothy N. & Savikhin, Anya C. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2012. "Behavioral spillovers in coordination games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 233-245.
  3. Massimo Finocchiaro Castro, 2005. "Behaviour in a Two-Stage Two Public Goods Experiment," Experimental 0504002, EconWPA.
  4. Max Albert & Vanessa Mertins, 2008. "Participation and Decision Making: A Three-person Power-to-take Experiment," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200805, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  5. Bonein, Aurélie & Serra, Daniel, 2007. "Another experimental look at reciprocal behavior: indirect reciprocity," MPRA Paper 3257, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2007.
  6. Servátka, Maros, 2010. "Does generosity generate generosity? An experimental study of reputation effects in a dictator game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 11-17, January.

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