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What Do We Expect from Our Friends?

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  • Stephen Leider
  • Markus M. Möbius
  • Tanya Rosenblat
  • Quoc-Anh Do

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment in a large real-world social network to examine how subjects expect to be treated by their friends and by strangers who make allocation decisions in modified dictator games. Although recipients' beliefs accurately account for the extent to which friends will choose more generous allocations than strangers (i.e., directed altruism), recipients are not able to anticipate individual differences in the baseline altruism of allocators (measured by giving to an unnamed recipient, which is predictive of generosity toward named recipients). Recipients who are direct friends with the allocator, or even recipients with many common friends, are no more accurate in recognizing intrinsically altruistic allocators. Recipient beliefs are significantly less accurate than the predictions of an econometrician who knows the allocator's demographic characteristics and social distance, suggesting recipients do not have information on unobservable characteristics of the allocator. (JEL: C73, C91, D64) (c) 2010 by the European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 120-138

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:8:y:2010:i:1:p:120-138

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References

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  1. Markus Mobius & Adam Szeidl, 2007. "Trust and Social Collateral," NBER Working Papers 13126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mobius, Markus & Do, Quoc-Anh & Leider, Stephen & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," Scholarly Articles 3054685, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Kovarik, Jaromir & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni & Cobo Reyes, Ramón, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," IKERLANAK 2009-35, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    • Kovarik, Jaromir & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni & Cobo Reyes, Ramón, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," DFAEII Working Papers 2009-05, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    • Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Cobo Reyes, Ramón & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni, 2006. "Altruism in the (Social) Network," DFAEII Working Papers 2006-04, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  4. Neel Rao & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat, 2007. "Social networks and vaccination decisions," Working Papers 07-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  5. Kolm,Serge-Christophe, 2009. "Reciprocity," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521123204, April.
  6. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jimenez & Luis Miller, 2009. "Are women expected to be more generous?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 93-98, March.
  7. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 426-454, June.
  9. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  10. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination In A Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377, February.
  11. Huck, Steffen & Weizsacker, Georg, 2002. "Do players correctly estimate what others do? : Evidence of conservatism in beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 71-85, January.
  12. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2004. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal Form Games," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000236, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2003. "Behavioral Game Theory. Experiments in Strategic Interaction: Colin F. Camerer, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2003, p. 550, Price $65.00/[UK pound]42.95, ISBN 0-691-09039-4," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 717-720, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1815-1851, November.
  2. Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Giving and sorting among friends: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-207, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Fabian Winter & Mitesh Kataria, 2013. "You Are Who Your Friends Are: An Experiment on Trust and Homophily in Friendship Networks," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-044, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth, 2013. "Selfishness As a Potential Cause of Crime. A Prison Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  5. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Alistair J. Wilson & Leeat Yariv, 2012. "A Field Study on Matching with Network Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1773-1804, August.
  6. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2012. "The Impact of Social Ties on Group Interactions: Evidence from Minimal Groups and Randomly Assigned Real Groups," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 101-15, February.
  7. Christine Binzel & Dietmar Fehr, 2010. "Social Relationships and Trust," Working Papers 542, Economic Research Forum, revised Sep 2010.
  8. Monic Sun & Xiaoquan (Michael) Zhang & Feng Zhu, 2012. "To Belong or to Be Different? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment in China," Working Papers 12-15, NET Institute, revised Oct 2012.
  9. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth & Thomas Pitz, 2010. "At the Mercy of the Prisoner Next Door. Using an Experimental Measure of Selfishness as a Criminological Tool," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_27, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

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