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Do Managers Reciprocate? Field Experimental Evidence From a Competitive Market

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  • Michel André Maréchal

    ()

  • Christian Thöni

    ()

Abstract

A substantive amount of lab experimental evidence suggests that the norm of reciprocity has important economic consequences. However, it is unclear whether the norm of reciprocity survives in a natural and competitive environment with experienced agents. For this purpose we analyze data from a natural field experiment conducted with sales representatives who were instructed to randomly distribute product samples as gifts to their business partners. We find that distributing gifts to store managers boosts sales revenue substantially, which is consistent with the notion of reciprocity. However, the results underline that the nature of the relationship between market participants crucially affects the prevalence of reciprocal behavior.

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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2007/DP-09-Ma.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 with number 2007-09.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2007:2007-09

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Keywords: reciprocity; gift exchange; field experiment;

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References

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  15. Charness, Gary & Haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2007. "Social distance and reciprocity: An Internet experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 88-103, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Shchetinin, Oleg, 2009. "Contracting Under Reciprocal Altruism," Working Papers in Economics 421, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Currie, Janet & Lin, Wanchuan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2013. "Social networks and externalities from gift exchange: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 19-30.
  3. Vera Angelova & Tobias Regner, 2012. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental sender-receiver game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-011, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Uwe Dulleck & Jonas Fooken & Yumei He, 2012. "Public Policy and Individual Labor Market Discrimination: An Artefactual Field Experiment in China," QuBE Working Papers 002, QUT Business School.
  5. Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2010. "The Impact of Social Camparisons of Reciprocity," Discussion Papers 2010-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  6. Charles Bellemare, 2007. "Gift exchange within a firm: Evidence from a field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00215, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2013. "The influence of wages on public officials' corruptibility: A laboratory investigation," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-210, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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