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Reputational cues in repeated trust games

  • Boero, Riccardo
  • Bravo, Giangiacomo
  • Castellani, Marco
  • Squazzoni, Flaminio

The importance of reputation in human societies is highlighted both by theoretical models and empirical studies. In this paper, we have extended the scope of previous experimental studies based on trust games by creating treatments where players can rate their opponents' behavior and know their past ratings. Our results showed that being rated by other players and letting this rating be known are factors that increase cooperation levels even when rational reputational investment motives are ruled out. More generally, subjects tended to respond to reputational opportunities even when this was neither rational nor explainable by reciprocity.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 871-877

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:6:p:871-877
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. M.A. Nowak & K. Sigmund, 1998. "Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity by Image Scoring/ The Dynamics of Indirect Reciprocity," Working Papers ir98040, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
  2. Andreas Ortmann & John Fitzgerald & Carl Boeing, 2000. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History: A Re-examination," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 81-100, June.
  3. Seinen, Ingrid & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Social status and group norms: Indirect reciprocity in a repeated helping experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 581-602, April.
  4. Olof Leimar & Peter Hammerstein, 2003. "Evolution of Cooperation Through Indirect Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000794, David K. Levine.
  5. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1998. "Gift exchange and reciprocity in competitive experimental markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-34, January.
  6. Daniel Nettle & Gilbert Roberts & Melissa Bateson, 2006. "Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting," Natural Field Experiments 00214, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  8. repec:feb:natura:0059 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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