IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ebl/ecbull/eb-18-00316.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Reciprocity in a social network: evidence from a natural field experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Luis Carlos Reyes

    () (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana)

Abstract

I use a natural field experiment to test for the presence of reciprocity in the context of a social network. Over the course of a year, I randomly sent birthday greetings to the online friends of a Facebook user. I find that sending a birthday greeting to a Facebook friend causes an increase of 50 percent in the probability that the friend will reciprocate when the birthday of the sender arrives. I also find that the tendency to reciprocate is decreasing in time. The likelihood that a birthday congratulation will be reciprocated increases by almost three times as much when the birthday of the sender is one month away than when it is six months away.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Carlos Reyes, 2018. "Reciprocity in a social network: evidence from a natural field experiment," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(2), pages 672-680.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-18-00316
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2018/Volume38/EB-18-V38-I2-P65.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frederico Finan & Laura Schechter, 2012. "Vote‐Buying and Reciprocity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 863-881, March.
    2. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
    3. Banerjee, Abhijit & Chandrasekhar, Arun G & Duflo, Esther & Jackson, Matthew O., 2012. "The Diffusion of Microfinance," CEPR Discussion Papers 8770, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
    5. William Jack & Tavneet Suri, 2014. "Risk Sharing and Transactions Costs: Evidence from Kenya's Mobile Money Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 183-223, January.
    6. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
    7. Sebastian Kube & Michel Andre Marechal & Clemens Puppe, 2012. "The Currency of Reciprocity: Gift Exchange in the Workplace," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1644-1662, June.
    8. Uri Gneezy & John A List, 2006. "Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1365-1384, September.
    9. John A. List, 2011. "Why Economists Should Conduct Field Experiments and 14 Tips for Pulling One Off," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 3-16, Summer.
    10. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    11. repec:feb:artefa:0110 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reciprocity; networks; Facebook; natural field experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-18-00316. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John P. Conley). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.