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Is Reputation Good or Bad? An Experiment

  • Brit Grosskopf
  • Rajiv Sarin

We investigate the impact of reputation in a laboratory experiment. We do so by varying whether the past choices of a long-run player are observable by the short-run players. Our framework allows for reputation to have either a beneficial or a harmful effect on the long-run player. We find that reputation is seldom harmful and its beneficial effects are not as strong as theory suggests. When reputational concerns are at odds with other-regarding preferences, we find th latter overwhelm the former. (JEL C91, D12, D82, D83, Z13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 2187-2204

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:5:p:2187-2204
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  1. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  2. Neral, John & Ochs, Jack, 1992. "The Sequential Equilibrium Theory of Reputation Building: A Further Test," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1151-69, September.
  3. John A. List, 2006. "The Behavioralist Meets the Market: Measuring Social Preferences and Reputation Effects in Actual Transactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-37, February.
  4. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1988. "Experimental Tests of a Sequential Equilibrium Reputation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-36, January.
  5. François Cochard & Phu Nguyen Van & Marc Willinger, 2004. "Trusting Behavior in a Repeated Investment Game," Post-Print hal-00459746, HAL.
  6. 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.
  7. Brandts, J. & Figueras, N., 1997. "An Exploration of Reputation Formation in Experimental Games," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 404.97, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
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