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Trust, reciprocity and altruism: An impossible addition

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  • Di Bartolomeo Giovanni
  • Papa Stefano

Abstract

This paper attempts to measure conditional and unconditional other-regarding preferences in two versions of an investment game: a canonical one and a cheap-talk variant where some pre-play is also allowed (i.e., non-binding unilateral messages). We find that counter-factual measures, as the well-known triadic design (Cox, 2004 [G&EB]) may systematically fail in distinguishing between conditional and unconditional other-regarding preferences due to the existence of frame effects. Specifically, by using indirect methods, we document conditional other-regarding preferences that are systematically neglected by the triadic approach. By inspecting result from the cheap-talk variant of the game, we also find that messages have no effect on average, but they affect the participants’ behavior leading to a polarization of their choices.

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Paper provided by Department of Communication, University of Teramo in its series wp.comunite with number 0082.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ter:wpaper:0082

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Web page: http://wp.comunite.it/

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Keywords: Conditional and unconditional other-regarding preferences; trust; reciprocity; investment game; frame effect; polarization effect; cheap talk;

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  1. Luca Stanca & Luigino Bruni & Marco Mantovani, 2011. "The effect of motivations on social indirect reciprocity: an experimental analysis," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(17), pages 1709-1711.
  2. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  3. Berlemann, Michael & Dittrich, Marcus & Markwardt, Gunther, 2009. "The value of non-binding announcements in public goods experiments: Some theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 421-428, June.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  8. Stanca, Luca & Bruni, Luigino & Corazzini, Luca, 2009. "Testing theories of reciprocity: Do motivations matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 233-245, August.
  9. Blume, Andreas & Ortmann, Andreas, 2007. "The effects of costless pre-play communication: Experimental evidence from games with Pareto-ranked equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 274-290, January.
  10. Bolton, G.E. & Brandts, J. & Ockenfels, A., 1997. "Measuring Motivations for the Reciprocal Responses Observed in a Simple Dilemma Game," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 400.97, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  11. Stewart, Hamish, 1992. "Rationality and the market for human blood," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 125-143, October.
  12. COOPER, R. & DEJONG, D.V. & FORSYTHE, R. & Tom Ross, 1989. "Communication In The Battle Of The Sexes Game," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 89-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  13. Janssen, Maarten C. W. & Mendys-Kamphorst, Ewa, 2004. "The price of a price: on the crowding out and in of social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 377-395, November.
  14. V. Pelligra, 2011. "Empathy, Guilt-Aversion and Patterns of Reciprocity," Working Paper CRENoS 201108, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  15. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
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