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Do experimental subjects favor their friends?

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  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

    ()
    (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada)

  • Miguel Angel Durán

    (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada)

  • María Paz Espinosa

    (Universidad del País Vasco)

Abstract

Ideally we would like subjects of experiments to be perfect strangers so that the situation they face at the lab is not just a part of a long run interaction. Unfortunately, it is not easy to reach those conditions and experimenters try to mitigate any effects coming form these out-of- the-lab relationships by, for instance, randomly matching subjects. However, even if this type of procedure is used, there is a positive probability that a subject faces a friend or an acquaintance. We find evidence that social proximity among subjects is irrelevant for experiments’ results in dictator games. Thus, although ideal conditions are not met, relations among subjects are not contaminating the experiments’ results.

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File URL: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/wpaper/thepapers05_14.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada. in its series ThE Papers with number 05/14.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 08 Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gra:wpaper:05/14

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Keywords: experimental procedures; friendship effect; dictator game; fairness.;

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References

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  1. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jiménez & Giovanni Ponti, 2005. "An experimental device to elicit social networks," ThE Papers 05/19, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  2. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
  3. Branas-Garza, Pablo, 2006. "Poverty in dictator games: Awakening solidarity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 306-320, July.
  4. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
  5. Frank, Bjorn, 1998. "Good news for experimenters: subjects do not care about your welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 171-174, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Durán, Miguel A. & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo, 2005. "The role of personal involvement and responsibility in dictatorial allocations: A classroom experiment," DFAEII Working Papers 2005-14, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  2. Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jiménez, 2012. "The dark side of friendship: ‘envy’," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 547-570, December.
  3. Robert Shupp & Roman M. Sheremeta & David Schmidt & James Walker, 2013. "Resource Allocation Contests: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 13-23, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  4. Pablo Brañas-Garza, 2006. "Promoting Helping Behavior with Framing in Dictator games," ThE Papers 06/04, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  5. Pablo Branas-Garza & Ramon Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jimenez & Giovanni Pontiy, 2013. "A Guided Tour to (Real-Life) Social Network Elicitation," Working Papers 13-21, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  6. Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz, 2006. "Altruism with Social Roots: An Emerging Literature," DFAEII Working Papers 2006-07, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.

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