A Laboratory Study of a Multi-Level Trust Game with Communication
AbstractThis experimental study explores how communication influences efficiency, trust and trustworthiness in a small group when one member is left out of communication. To study this problem, we introduce a novel three-player trust game where player 1 can send any portion of his endowment to player 2. The amount sent gets tripled. Player 2 decides how much to send to player 3. The amount is again tripled, and player 3 then decides the allocation among the three players. The baseline treatment with no communication shows that on average players 1 and 2 send significant amounts and player 3 reciprocates even though all players are randomly regrouped every period. When we add communication between players 2 and 3, the amounts sent and returned between these two increase. The interesting finding is that there are external effects of communication: player 1 who is outside communication sends 60% more and receives 140% more than in the no communication treatment. As a result, social welfare and efficiency increase from 48% to 73%.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2009-07.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
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Multi-level Trust Games; Experiments; Reciprocity; Communication;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-09-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2009-09-26 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2009-09-26 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2009-09-26 (Game Theory)
- NEP-SOC-2009-09-26 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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