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Your Morals Are Your Moods

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  • Kirchsteiger, Georg
  • Rigotti, Luca
  • Rustichini, Aldo

Abstract

We test the effect of players' moods on their behavior in a gift-exchange game. In the first stage of the game, player 1 chooses a transfer to player 2. In the second stage, player 2 chooses an effort level. Higher effort is more costly for player 2, but it increases player 1's payoff. We say that player 2 reciprocates if effort is increasing in the transfer received. Player 2 is generous if an effort is incurred even when no transfer is received. Subjects play this game in two different moods. To induce a 'bad mood', subjects in the role of player 2 watched a sad movie before playing the game; to induce a `good mood', they watched a funny movie. Mood induction was effective: subjects who saw the funny movie reported a significantly better mood than those who saw the sad movie. These two moods lead to significant differences in player 2's behavior. We find that a bad mood implies more reciprocity while a good mood implies more generosity. Since high transfers are relatively more common, player 1 makes more money when second movers are in a bad mood.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt5fh525g8.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt5fh525g8

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Keywords: Emotions; motivation; rationality; reciprocity; fairness;

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References

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  1. Frederic Palomino & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Skill, Strategy, and Passion: an Empirical Analysis of Soccer," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1822, Econometric Society.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2000. "Fairness, incentives, and contractual choices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1057-1068, May.
  3. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  4. Hermalin, Benjamin E. & Isen, Alice M., 1999. "The Effect of Affect and Economic and Strategic Decision Making," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4fn1b57s, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Fehr, Ernst & Gachter, Simon, 1998. "Reciprocity and economics: The economic implications of Homo Reciprocans1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 845-859, May.
  6. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Mónica C. Capra, 2004. "Mood-Driven Behavior in Strategic Interactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 367-372, May.
  2. Danielson, Anders & Holm, Hakan, 2004. "Do You Trust Your Brethren? Eliciting Trust Attitudes and Trust Behavior in a Tanzanian Congregation," Working Papers 2004:2, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  3. Marie Claire Villeval, 2007. "Experimental Economics: Contributions, Recent Developments, and New Challenges," Post-Print halshs-00175179, HAL.
  4. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Ronald Bosman & Arno Riedl, 2003. "Emotions and Economic Shocks in a First-Price Auction," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-056/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Young, H. Peyton, 2009. "Learning by trial and error," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 626-643, March.

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