IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/reecon/v74y2020i1p1-11.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Promises in group decision making

Author

Listed:
  • Faralla, Valeria
  • Borà, Guido
  • Innocenti, Alessandro
  • Novarese, Marco

Abstract

We assess in the laboratory the effect of promises on group decision-making. The gift-exchange game provides the testing ground for our experiment. When the game is played between groups, inter-group cooperation and reciprocity represent a condition for increasing total earnings as a measure of social efficiency. Our findings show that promises have positive effect on aggregate payoffs and that effect is reinforced when a group member is randomly selected as proposer to set forth an effort/transfer level that other group members can approve or reject. Promises and proposers elicit social conformity leading groups to exhibit more desirable social behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Faralla, Valeria & Borà, Guido & Innocenti, Alessandro & Novarese, Marco, 2020. "Promises in group decision making," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-11.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:74:y:2020:i:1:p:1-11
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rie.2019.11.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090944319303394
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mason, Susan G. & Holley, Don & Wells, Aaron & Jain, Amit & Wuerzer, Thomas & Joshi, Alark, 2016. "An experiment-based methodology to understand the dynamics of group decision making," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 14-26.
    2. Super, Janice Francis & Li, Pingshu & Ishqaidef, Ghadir & Guthrie, James P., 2016. "Group rewards, group composition and information sharing: A motivated information processing perspective," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 31-44.
    3. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    4. Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
    5. Charness, Gary & Jackson, Matthew O., 2009. "The role of responsibility in strategic risk-taking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 241-247, March.
    6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Christine L. Exley, 2015. "Understanding Conformity: An Experimental Investigation," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-070, Harvard Business School.
    7. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
    8. Baron, David P. & Ferejohn, John A., 1989. "Bargaining in Legislatures," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 1181-1206, December.
    9. Wolfgang Luhan & Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Group polarization in the team dictator game reconsidered," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 26-41, March.
    10. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, April.
    11. Martin Brown & Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr, 2004. "Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 747-780, May.
    12. Jingjing Zhang & Marco Casari, 2012. "How Groups Reach Agreement In Risky Choices: An Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 502-515, April.
    13. Johannes Abeler & Steffen Altmann & Sebastian Kube & Matthias Wibral, 2010. "Gift Exchange and Workers' Fairness Concerns: When Equality is Unfair," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1299-1324, December.
    14. Charness, Gary & Du, Ninghua & Yang, Chun-Lei & Yao, Lan, 2013. "Promises in contract design," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 194-208.
    15. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    16. Charness, Gary & Karni, Edi & Levin, Dan, 2010. "On the conjunction fallacy in probability judgment: New experimental evidence regarding Linda," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 551-556, March.
    17. Ernst Fehr & Alexander Klein & Klaus M Schmidt, 2007. "Fairness and Contract Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 121-154, January.
    18. Sutter, Matthias, 2005. "Are four heads better than two? An experimental beauty-contest game with teams of different size," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 41-46, July.
    19. Kugler, Tamar & Bornstein, Gary & Kocher, Martin G. & Sutter, Matthias, 2007. "Trust between individuals and groups: Groups are less trusting than individuals but just as trustworthy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 646-657, December.
    20. Fahr, René & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2011. "Who follows the crowd—Groups or individuals?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 200-209.
    21. Charness, Gary, 2000. "Responsibility and effort in an experimental labor market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 375-384, July.
    22. Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Individual versus group behavior and the role of the decision making procedure in gift-exchange experiments," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 63-88, March.
    23. Carpenter, Jeffrey, 2017. "The sequencing of gift exchange: A field trial," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 26-31.
    24. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    25. Kugler, Tamar & Kausel, E.E. & Kocher, Martin G., 2012. "Are groups more rational than individuals? A review of interactive decision making in groups," Munich Reprints in Economics 18215, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    26. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
    27. Bellemare, Charles & Shearer, Bruce, 2009. "Gift giving and worker productivity: Evidence from a firm-level experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 233-244, September.
    28. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2005. "The Decision Maker Matters: Individual Versus Group Behaviour in Experimental Beauty-Contest Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 200-223, January.
    29. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.),Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 3, pages 229-330, Elsevier.
    30. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
    31. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    32. Gary Charness & Edi Karni & Dan Levin, 2007. "Individual and group decision making under risk: An experimental study of Bayesian updating and violations of first-order stochastic dominance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 129-148, October.
    33. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-862, December.
    34. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-1483, September.
    35. Tamar Kugler & Edgar E. Kausel & Martin G. Kocher, 2012. "Are Groups more Rational than Individuals? A Review of Interactive Decision Making in Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 3701, CESifo.
    36. Christoph Vanberg, 2008. "Why Do People Keep Their Promises? An Experimental Test of Two Explanations -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1467-1480, November.
    37. 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.
    38. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
    39. Miller, Luis & Vanberg, Christoph, 2015. "Group size and decision rules in legislative bargaining," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 288-302.
    40. Alessandro Innocenti & Chiara Rapallini, 2011. "Voting by Ballots and Feet in the Laboratory," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 70(1), pages 3-24, January.
    41. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
    42. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational” Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
    43. Brady, Michael P. & Wu, Steven Y., 2010. "The aggregation of preferences in groups: Identity, responsibility, and polarization," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 950-963, December.
    44. 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.
    45. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2010. "Bare promises: An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 281-283, May.
    46. Ambrus, Attila & Greiner, Ben & Pathak, Parag A., 2015. "How individual preferences are aggregated in groups: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 1-13.
    47. Puppe Clemens & Sebastian Kube & Michel Marechal, 2006. "Putting reciprocity to work - positive versus negative responses in the field," Natural Field Experiments 00291, The Field Experiments Website.
    48. Song, Fei, 2009. "Intergroup trust and reciprocity in strategic interactions: Effects of group decision-making mechanisms," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 164-173, January.
    49. Francesco Feri & Bernd Irlenbusch & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Efficiency Gains from Team-Based Coordination—Large-Scale Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1892-1912, September.
    50. Gary Charness & Peter Kuhn, 2007. "Does Pay Inequality Affect Worker Effort? Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 693-723.
    51. Bracht, Juergen & Feltovich, Nick, 2009. "Whatever you say, your reputation precedes you: Observation and cheap talk in the trust game," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1036-1044, October.
    52. Bock, Olaf & Baetge, Ingmar & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2014. "hroot: Hamburg Registration and Organization Online Tool," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 117-120.
    53. Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Mathauschek, Barbara, 2007. "Teams take the better risks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 412-422, July.
    54. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchler, Erich & Weichbold, Andreas & Gächter, Simon, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-351, April.
    55. Banks, Jeffrey s. & Duggan, John, 2000. "A Bargaining Model of Collective Choice," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 73-88, March.
    56. Bardsley, Nicholas & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2005. "Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 664-681, October.
    57. Fisher, Colin M., 2017. "An ounce of prevention or a pound of cure? Two experiments on in-process interventions in decision-making groups," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 59-73.
    58. Offerman, Theo, 2002. "Hurting hurts more than helping helps," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1423-1437, September.
    59. Gary Charness & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Groups Make Better Self-Interested Decisions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 157-176, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Group decision; Promise; Gift-exchange game; Social efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    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:eee:reecon:v:74:y:2020:i:1:p:1-11. 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: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622941 .

    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.