Trust and truth
AbstractIn a laboratory experiment, we create relationships between pairs of anonymous subjects through a Prisoners' dilemma game. Thereafter the same subjects play a private values (sealed-bid double auction) bargaining game with or without communication. Communication substantially increases bargaining efficiency among subjects who cooperated in the Prisoners' dilemma, but has no significant effect on bargaining outcomes when one subject defected. Subjects who cooperated in the Prisoners' dilemma bid more aggresively if their opponent defected. Cooperators also lie more about their valuations when their opponent defected: Compared to the case of mutual cooperation, the cooperators' rate of honest revelation decreases from 64% to 6% and the rate of outright deception increases from 7% to 53%. Our results provide qualitatively new evidence that many people are strong recipricators: They are willing to bear private costs in order to reward good behavior and punish bad behavior, even when the rewards and punishments are unobservable.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 665.
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
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Bargaining; Communication; Honesty; Trust; Strong reciprocity;
Other versions of this item:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-06-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2007-06-23 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2007-06-23 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2007-06-23 (Game Theory)
- NEP-SOC-2007-06-23 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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