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Living in Two Neighborhoods – Social Interactions in the LAB

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  • Armin Falk
  • Urs Fischbacher
  • Simon Gächter

Abstract

Field evidence suggests that agents belonging to the same group tend to behave similarly, i.e., behavior exhibits social interaction effects. Testing for such effects raises severe identification problems. We conduct an experiment that avoids these problems. The main design feature is that each subject simultaneously is a member of two randomly assigned and economically identical groups where only members (‘neighbors’) are different. In both groups subjects make contribution decisions to a public good. We speak of social interactions if the same subject at the same time makes group-specific contributions that depend on their respective neighbors’ contribution. Our results are unambiguous evidence for social interactions. A majority of subjects is very strongly influenced by the contributions of their respective neighbors. Roughly ten percent exhibit no social interactions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 954.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_954

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Keywords: social interactions; identification; experiments;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2007. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain," Working Papers 03-2007, Institute of Local Public Finance.
  2. Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Peers at Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 5870, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Benno Torgler & Bruno S. Frey & Clevo Wilson, 2007. "Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence from 30 Countries," Working Papers 2007.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Krupka, Erin L. & Weber, Roberto A., 2007. "The Focusing and Informational Effects of Norms on Pro-Social Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 3169, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. García-Valiñas, María A. & Macintyre, Alison & Torgler, Benno, 2012. "Volunteering, pro-environmental attitudes and norms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 455-467.
  6. Rupert Sausgruber, 2005. "Testing for Team Spirit - An Experimental Study," Experimental 0508001, EconWPA.
  7. C. Monica Capra & Lei Li, 2006. "Conformity in Contribution Games: Gender and Group Effects," Emory Economics 0601, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
  9. Alexandre, Michel, 2011. "Endogenous categorization and group inequality," MPRA Paper 33239, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Bardsley, Nicholas & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2005. "Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 664-681, October.
  11. Ibanez, Marcela & Martinsson, Peter, 2008. "Can we do policy recommendations from a framed field experiment? The case of coca cultivation in Colombia," Working Papers in Economics 306, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  12. Rupert Sausgruber, 2009. "A note on peer effects between teams," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 193-201, June.
  13. Siegfried Berninghaus & Sven Fischer & Werner Güth, 2006. "Social Networks and Employment - An Experimental Analysis," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-31, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.

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