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Group reputations: An experimental foray

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  • Huck, Steffen
  • Lünser, Gabriele K.

Abstract

Often information structures are such that while individual reputation building is impossible groups of agents would have the opportunity of building up a reputation. We experimentally examine whether groups of sellers in markets that suffer from moral hazard are able to build up reputations and, thus, avoid market breakdown. We contrast our findings with situations where sellers alternatively can build up an individual reputation or where there are no possibilities for reputation building at all. Our results offer a comparatively optimistic outlook on group reputations as long as groups are small. Even though sellers only receive some of the reputation benefits of withstanding short-run incentives to exploit trust, they are able to overcome the dilemma and successfully exploit the information structure. However, the ability to build successful group reputations depends on group size with trust breaking down in larger groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Huck, Steffen & Lünser, Gabriele K., 2010. "Group reputations: An experimental foray," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 153-157, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:73:y:2010:i:2:p:153-157
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andreoni, James A & Miller, John H, 1993. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 570-585, May.
    2. Jean Tirole, 1996. "A Theory of Collective Reputations (with applications to the persistence of corruption and to firm quality)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-22.
    3. R. Mark Isaac & James M. Walker, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-199.
    4. Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2004. "How Effective Are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1587-1602, November.
    5. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    6. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1988. "Experimental Tests of a Sequential Equilibrium Reputation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-36, January.
    7. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:95:y:2001:i:01:p:131-144_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S. & Huck, Steffen, 2001. "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 95(01), pages 131-144, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aidin Hajikhameneh & Erik O. Kimbrough, 2017. "Individualism, Collectivism, and Trade," Discussion Papers dp17-01, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    2. McIntosh, Craig & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Buck, Steven & Rosada, Tomas, 2013. "Reputation in a public goods game: Taking the design of credit bureaus to the lab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 270-285.
    3. Lumeau, Marianne & Masclet, David & Penard, Thierry, 2015. "Reputation and social (dis)approval in feedback mechanisms: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 127-140.
    4. Alexander E. Saak, 2012. "Collective Reputation, Social Norms, and Participation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(3), pages 763-785.
    5. Alejandro T. Moreno-Okuno & Alejandro Mosiño, 2017. "A theory of sequential group reciprocity," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 26(1), pages 1-19, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trust Group reputations Moral hazard Information conditions;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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