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What Do We Expect from Our Friends?

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  • Quoc-Anh Do

    ()
    (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)

  • Stephen Leider

    (Harvard University)

  • Markus M. Mobius

    (Harvard University)

  • Tanya Rosenblat

    (Iowa State University)

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment in a large real-world social network to examine how subjects expect to be treated by their friends and by strangers who make allocation decisions in modified dictator games. While recipients’ beliefs accurately account for the extent to which friends will choose more generous allocations than strangers (i.e. directed altruism), recipients are not able to anticipate individual differences in the baseline altruism of allocators (measured by giving to an unnamed recipient, which is predictive of generosity towards named recipients). Recipients who are direct friends with the allocator, or even recipients with many common friends, are no more accurate in recognizing intrinsically altruistic allocators. Recipient beliefs are significantly less accurate than the predictions of an econometrician who knows the allocator’s demographic characteristics and social distance, suggesting recipients do not have information on unobservable characteristics of the allocator.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Singapore Management University, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-2009.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in SMU Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:09-2009

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Keywords: dictator games; beliefs; baseline altruism; directed altruism; social networks;

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References

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  1. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Kovarik, Jaromir & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni & Cobo Reyes, Ramón, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," DFAEII Working Papers 2009-05, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    • Kovarik, Jaromir & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni & Cobo Reyes, Ramón, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," IKERLANAK 2009-35, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
  3. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
  4. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
  5. Dean Karlan & Markus Mobius & Tanya Rosenblat & Adam Szeidl, 2009. "Trust and Social Collateral," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1307-1361, August.
  6. Huck, Steffen & Weizsacker, Georg, 2002. "Do players correctly estimate what others do? : Evidence of conservatism in beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 71-85, January.
  7. Mobius, Markus & Do, Quoc-Anh & Leider, Stephen & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," Scholarly Articles 3054685, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Kolm,Serge-Christophe, 2009. "Reciprocity," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521123204, April.
  9. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2003. "Behavioral Game Theory. Experiments in Strategic Interaction: Colin F. Camerer, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2003, p. 550, Price $65.00/[UK pound]42.95, ISBN 0-691-09039-4," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 717-720, December.
  10. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jimenez & Luis Miller, 2009. "Are women expected to be more generous?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 93-98, March.
  11. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2004. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal Form Games," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000236, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Cobo Reyes, Ramón & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni, 2006. "Altruism in the (Social) Network," DFAEII Working Papers 2006-04, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    • Kovarik, Jaromir & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Jiménez, Natalia & Ponti, Giovanni & Cobo Reyes, Ramón, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," IKERLANAK 2009-35, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
  13. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 426-454, June.
  14. Neel Rao & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat, 2007. "Social networks and vaccination decisions," Working Papers 07-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christine Binzel & Dietmar Fehr, 2010. "Social Relationships and Trust," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-028, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  2. Fabian Winter & Mitesh Kataria, 2013. "You Are Who Your Friends Are: An Experiment on Trust and Homophily in Friendship Networks," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-044, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  3. Mobius, Markus & Do, Quoc-Anh & Leider, Stephen & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," Scholarly Articles 3054685, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Alistair Wilson & Mariagiovanna Baccara & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Leeat Yariv, 2009. "A Field Study on Matching with Network Externalities," Working Papers 486, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2011.
  5. Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Giving and sorting among friends: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-207, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth & Thomas Pitz, 2010. "At the Mercy of the Prisoner Next Door. Using an Experimental Measure of Selfishness as a Criminological Tool," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_27, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  7. Monic Sun & Xiaoquan (Michael) Zhang & Feng Zhu, 2012. "To Belong or to Be Different? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment in China," Working Papers 12-15, NET Institute, revised Oct 2012.
  8. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2012. "The Impact of Social Ties on Group Interactions: Evidence from Minimal Groups and Randomly Assigned Real Groups," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 101-15, February.
  9. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth, 2013. "Selfishness As a Potential Cause of Crime. A Prison Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

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