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What Do We Expect from Our Friends?

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Author Info

  • 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. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
  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. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jiménez & Luis M. Miller, 2006. "Gender based prescriptions: evidence for altruism," ThE Papers 06/11, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  4. 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.
  5. Neel Rao & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat, 2007. "Social networks and vaccination decisions," Working Papers 07-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  6. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2010. "Why Beauty Matters," Staff General Research Papers 32112, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Szeidl, Adam & Rosenblat, Tanya & Mobius, Markus & Karlan, Dean, 2009. "Trust and Social Collateral," Scholarly Articles 3051620, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Kolm,Serge-Christophe, 2009. "Reciprocity," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521123204, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Matt Jackson, 2003. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000032, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
    • 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.
  12. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2004. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," ISER Discussion Paper 0614, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Quoc-Anh Do & Stephen Leider & Markus M. Mobius & Tanya Rosenblat, 2008. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," Working Papers 17-2008, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  2. Christine Binzel & Dietmar Fehr, 2010. "Social Relationships and Trust," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1007, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. 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.
  4. Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Giving and Sorting among Friends: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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