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  • Catherine C. Eckel
  • Ragan Petrie

Abstract

There is growing evidence of systematic heterogeneity in behavior by observable characteristics, such as what one would see in a face. We ask, is there informational value in knowing these characteristics in a strategic interaction? Subjects are given the opportunity to purchase a photograph of their partner in the play of a trust game. Not everyone purchases the photo, even at prices as low as $0.20. Senders (first movers in the game) have a more inelastic demand for pictures than responders (second movers). White senders have a substantially higher demand than nonwhite senders or responders. For responders, there is no difference in demand for pictures across ethnicity or sex. White senders who pay to see the picture of their partner use the information to discriminate, sending significantly less to black responders than to white responders. Overall, responders return a higher percentage of the amount received as offers go up, but they do differentiate that percentage when they see the picture of the sender, returning more to a member of the same ethnicity. A face, it appears, has strategic value, especially for those who will use the information to differentiate their decisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series with number 2008-11.

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Length: 16
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2008-11

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Samak, Anya & Sheremeta, Roman, 2013. "Visibility of Contributors and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods," MPRA Paper 46779, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Kai A. Konrad & Tim Lohse & Salmai Qari, 2013. "Dubious Versus Trustworthy Faces - What Difference Does it Make for Tax Compliance?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4373, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Anya Savikhin Samek & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2014. "When Identifying Contributors is Costly: An Experiment on Public Goods," Working Papers 14-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  4. Marco Faillo & Daniela Grieco & Luca Zarri, 2012. "Cultural Diversity, Cooperation, and Antisocial Punishment," Working Papers 09/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  5. Mago, Shakun & Samak, Anya & Sheremeta, Roman, 2013. "Facing Your Opponents: Social Identification and Information Feedback in Contests," MPRA Paper 47029, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Friesen, Jane & Arifovic, Jasmina & Wright, Stephen C. & Ludwig, Andreas & Giamo, Lisa & Baray, Gamze, 2012. "Ethnic identity and discrimination among children," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1156-1169.
  7. Englmaier, Florian & Strasser, Sebastian & Winter, Joachim, 2014. "Worker characteristics and wage differentials: Evidence from a gift-exchange experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 185-203.
  8. Redzo Mujcic & Paul Frijters, 2013. "Conspicuous Consumption, Conspicuous Health, and Optimal Taxation," Discussion Papers Series 483, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  9. Busetta, Giovanni & Fiorillo, Fabio & Visalli, Emanuela, 2013. "Searching for a job is a beauty contest," MPRA Paper 49392, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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