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Your Morals are Your Moods

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  • Kirchsteiger, G.
  • Rigotti, L.
  • Rustichini, A.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

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 make more money when second movers are in a bad mood.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2000-122.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2000122

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: rationality; motivation; game theory; emotions; reciprocity; gift giving;

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References

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "Fairness, Incentives, and Contractual Choices," IEW - Working Papers 020, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Palomino, F.A. & Rigotti, L. & Rustichini, A., 1998. "Skill, Strategy and Passion: An Empirical Analysis of Soccer," Discussion Paper 1998-129, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  6. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Danielson, Anders J. & Holm, Hakan J., 2007. "Do you trust your brethren?: Eliciting trust attitudes and trust behavior in a Tanzanian congregation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 255-271, February.
  2. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  3. Young, H. Peyton, 2009. "Learning by trial and error," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 626-643, March.
  4. Marie-Claire Villeval, 2007. "Experimental Economics: Contributions, Recent Developments, and New Challenges," Post-Print halshs-00142464, HAL.
  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. Mónica C. Capra, 2004. "Mood-Driven Behavior in Strategic Interactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 367-372, May.

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