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Your Morals are Your Moods

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Author Info

  • Georg Kirchsteiger
  • Luca Rigotti
  • Aldo Rustichini

Abstract

We test the effect of players' moods on their behavior in a gift-exchange game. In the first stage of the game, player 1 chooses a transfer to player 2. In the second stage, player 2 chooses an effort level. Higher effort is more costly for player 2, but it increases player 1's payoff. We say that player 2 reciprocates if effort is increasing in the transfer received. Player 2 is generous if an effort is incurred even when no transfer is received. Subjects play this game in two different moods. To induce a 'bad mood', subjects in the role of player 2 watched a sad movie before playing the game; to induce a `good mood', they watched a funny movie. Mood induction was effective: subjects who saw the funny movie reported a significantly better mood than those who saw the sad movie. These two moods lead to significant differences in player 2's behavior. We find that a bad mood implies more reciprocity while a good mood implies more generosity. Since high transfers are relatively more common, player 1 makes more money when second movers are in a bad mood.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/149584.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Publication status: Published in: Journal of economic behavior & organization (2006) v.59 n° 2,p.155-172
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/149584

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References

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  1. Frederic Palomino & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Skill, Strategy, and Passion: an Empirical Analysis of Soccer," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1822, Econometric Society.
  2. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Alice M. Isen, 2000. "The Effect of Affect on Economic and Strategic Decision Making," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 9912001, EconWPA.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Gachter, Simon, 1998. "Reciprocity and economics: The economic implications of Homo Reciprocans1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 845-859, May.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2000. "Fairness, incentives, and contractual choices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1057-1068, May.
  5. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  6. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Marie Claire Villeval, 2007. "Experimental Economics: Contributions, Recent Developments, and New Challenges," Post-Print halshs-00175179, HAL.
  2. Dufwenberg, M. & Kirchsteiger, G., 1998. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Discussion Paper 1998-37, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Young, H. Peyton, 2009. "Learning by trial and error," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 626-643, March.
  4. Mónica C. Capra, 2004. "Mood-Driven Behavior in Strategic Interactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 367-372, May.
  5. Danielson, Anders J. & Holm, Hakan J., 2007. "Do you trust your brethren?: Eliciting trust attitudes and trust behavior in a Tanzanian congregation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 255-271, February.
  6. Ronald Bosman & Arno Riedl, 2003. "Emotions and Economic Shocks in a First-Price Auction," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-056/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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