IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/gamebe/v72y2011i2p400-426.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Social distance in a virtual world experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Fiedler, Marina
  • Haruvy, Ernan
  • Li, Sherry Xin

Abstract

We conduct a quasi-field experiment in a virtual world environment to investigate the impact of social distance on economic choices. We design trust games with partner selection, in which the proposer chooses between a familiar responder and a stranger with a higher multiplier. When choosing between the two responders, the proposer faces tradeoffs between economic opportunities and social distance. Comparing participants' behaviors to those in a standalone trust game, we find that in the virtual world experiment the proposers are more likely to select the socially closer responders despite the lower rate of investment returns, and the latter reciprocate by returning a higher proportion than the socially distant responders. Virtual communication also plays an important role on the proposers' choice and the responders' reciprocity. In contrast, social distance and virtual communication have less impact in the lab with a student sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Fiedler, Marina & Haruvy, Ernan & Li, Sherry Xin, 2011. "Social distance in a virtual world experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 400-426, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:72:y:2011:i:2:p:400-426
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899825610001442
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charness, Gary & haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2001. "Social Distance and Reciprocity: The Internet vs. the Laboratory," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3dt073wb, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    2. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 351-377.
    3. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-869.
    4. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    5. Gad Saad & Tripat Gill, 2001. "Sex Differences in the Ultimatum Game: An Evolutionary Psychology Perspective," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, pages 171-193.
    6. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-868.
    7. Segal, Uzi & Sobel, Joel, 2007. "Tit for tat: Foundations of preferences for reciprocity in strategic settings," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 197-216.
    8. Jeannette Brosig & Joachim Weimann & Axel Ockenfels, 2003. "The Effect of Communication Media on Cooperation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 217-241, May.
    9. Fan, Ying, 2002. "Questioning guanxi: definition, classification and implications," International Business Review, Elsevier, pages 543-561.
    10. Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Timothy C. Salmon, 2004. "Bidder Preferences among Auction Institutions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 223-236, April.
    11. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 11-26.
    12. Naresh Khatri & Eric W K Tsang & Thomas M Begley, 2006. "Cronyism: a cross-cultural analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, pages 61-75.
    13. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
    14. Frohlich, Norman & Oppenheimer, Joe, 1998. "Some consequences of e-mail vs. face-to-face communication in experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 389-403.
    15. Segal, Uzi & Sobel, Joel, 2007. "Tit for tat: Foundations of preferences for reciprocity in strategic settings," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 197-216.
    16. Asha Rao & Stuart M Schmidt, 1998. "A Behavioral Perspective on Negotiating International Alliance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, pages 665-694.
    17. Charness, Gary & Haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2007. "Social distance and reciprocity: An Internet experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 88-103.
    18. James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2005. "On the Nature of Reciprocal Motives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 623-635, July.
    19. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Generosity, anonymity, gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 42-49.
    20. Buchan, Nancy R. & Johnson, Eric J. & Croson, Rachel T.A., 2006. "Let's get personal: An international examination of the influence of communication, culture and social distance on other regarding preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 373-398.
    21. Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2002. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? An Experimental Comparison of Observation and Cheap Talk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 1-27.
    22. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 351-377.
    23. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 431-457.
    24. Frey, Bruno S. & Bohnet, Iris, 1997. "Identification in democratic society," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 25-38.
    25. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 11-26.
    26. Edward Castronova, 2001. "Virtual Worlds: A First-Hand Account of Market and Society on the Cyberian Frontier," CESifo Working Paper Series 618, CESifo Group Munich.
    27. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 122-142.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Natalia Montinari & Antonio Nicolò & Regine Oexl, 2016. "The gift of being chosen," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, pages 460-479.
    2. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & McCabe, Kevin & Twieg, Peter, 2014. "Can More Be Less? An Experimental Test of the Resource Curse," Journal of Experimental Political Science, Cambridge University Press, pages 39-58.
    3. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
    4. Greiner, Ben & Caravella, Mary & Roth, Alvin E., 2014. "Is avatar-to-avatar communication as effective as face-to-face communication? An Ultimatum Game experiment in First and Second Life," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 374-382.
    5. repec:eee:gamebe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:276-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jérôme Hergueux & Nicolas Jacquemet, 2015. "Social preferences in the online laboratory: a randomized experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, pages 251-283.
    7. Delaney, Jason & Jacobson, Sarah, 2014. "Those outsiders: How downstream externalities affect public good provision," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, pages 340-352.
    8. Heinrich, Timo & Brosig-Koch, Jeannette, 2015. "Promises and Social Distance in Buyer-Determined Procurement Auctions," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112892, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. David L. Dickinson & David Masclet & Emmanuel Peterle, 2017. "Discrimination as favoritism: The private benefits and social costs of in-group favoritism in an experimental labor market," Working Papers hal-01482006, HAL.
    10. Bryan C. McCannon & Colleen Tokar Asaad & Mark Wilson, 2015. "Financial Competence, Overconfidence, and Trusting Investments: Results from an Experiment," Working Papers 15-26, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    11. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Kaas, Leo, 2011. "Wage Dispersion and Labor Turnover with Adverse Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 5936, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Mccannon, Bryan C., 2014. "Trust, reciprocity, and a preference for economic freedom: experimental evidence," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 451-470, September.
    13. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Kuhn, Michael A., 2013. "Experimental methods: Extra-laboratory experiments-extending the reach of experimental economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 93-100.
    14. Fiedler, Marina & Haruvy, Ernan, 2017. "The effect of third party intervention in the trust game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 65-74.
    15. Innocenti, Alessandro, 2017. "Virtual reality experiments in economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 71-77.
    16. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & McCabe, Kevin & Twieg, Peter, 2014. "Can More Be Less? An Experimental Test of the Resource Curse," Journal of Experimental Political Science, Cambridge University Press, pages 39-58.
    17. Tom Lane, 2015. "Discrimination in the laboratory: a meta-analysis," Discussion Papers 2015-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    18. Bryan C. McCannon & Colleen Tokar Asaad & Mark Wilson, 2016. "Financial competence, overconfidence, and trusting investments: Results from an experiment," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, pages 590-606.

    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:eee:gamebe:v:72:y:2011:i:2:p:400-426. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836 .

    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 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.