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Favouring Friends


  • Pablo Brañas‐Garza
  • Miguel A. Durán
  • María Paz Espinosa


Ideally we would like subjects of experiments to be perfect strangers so that the situation they face at the lab is not just a part of a long run interaction. Unfortunately, it is not easy to reach those conditions and experimenters try to mitigate any effects coming form these out-of- the-lab relationships by, for instance, randomly matching subjects. However, even if this type of procedure is used, there is a positive probability that a subject faces a friend or an acquaintance. We find evidence that social proximity among subjects is irrelevant for experiments’ results in dictator games. Thus, although ideal conditions are not met, relations among subjects are not contaminating the experiments’ results.
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Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Brañas‐Garza & Miguel A. Durán & María Paz Espinosa, 2012. "Favouring Friends," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 172-178, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:buecrs:v:64:y:2012:i:2:p:172-178
    DOI: j.1467-8586.2010.00357.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Branas-Garza, Pablo, 2006. "Poverty in dictator games: Awakening solidarity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 306-320, July.
    2. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
    3. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jiménez & Giovanni Ponti, 2005. "An experimental device to elicit social networks," ThE Papers 05/19, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    4. Frank, Bjorn, 1998. "Good news for experimenters: subjects do not care about your welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 171-174, November.
    5. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shupp, Robert & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Schmidt, David & Walker, James, 2013. "Resource allocation contests: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 257-267.
    2. Branas-Garza, Pablo, 2007. "Promoting helping behavior with framing in dictator games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 477-486, August.
    3. Brañas-Garza Pablo & María Paz Espinosa, 2006. "Altruism with Social Roots: An Emerging Literature," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, September.
    4. Pablo Branas-Garza & Ramon Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jimenez & Giovanni Pontiy, 2013. "A Guided Tour to (Real-Life) Social Network Elicitation," Working Papers 13-21, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    5. Midler, Estelle & Pascual, Unai & Drucker, Adam G. & Narloch, Ulf & Soto, José Luis, 2015. "Unraveling the effects of payments for ecosystem services on motivations for collective action," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 394-405.
    6. Schüller, David & Tauchmann, Harald & Upmann, Thorsten & Weimar, Daniel, 2014. "Pro-social behavior in the TV show “Come Dine With Me”: An empirical investigation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 44-55.
    7. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Miguel Angel Durán & María Paz Espinosa, 2005. "The role of personal involvement and responsibility in dictatorial allocations: a classroom investigation," ThE Papers 05/21, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    8. Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jiménez, 2012. "The dark side of friendship: ‘envy’," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(4), pages 547-570, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C99 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Other
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers


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