Are non-binding contracts really not worth the paper?
We experimentally investigate behavior in sequential one-shot transactions which are governed by non-binding contracts. In a second, incomplete information treatment, contracts are binding for some players. While according to traditional game-theoretical analysis no trade is expected in the first treatment, full trade should result in the latter. However, we find that trade is even higher in the non-binding contract treatment. On the one hand, non-binding contracts-although they are cheap talk-do guide behavior, especially at the beginning of a business relationship, while reciprocal reactions prevail later on. On the other hand, in the treatment with binding contracts cooperative behavior appears to be crowded out. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 27 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/7976|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Iris Bohnet & Bruno S. Frey & Steffen Huck, . "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," IEW - Working Papers 052, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1991. "Testing for effects of cheap talk in a public goods game with private information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 183-220, May.
- McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1992. "An Experimental Study of the Centipede Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 803-36, July.
- David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1998.
Levine's Working Paper Archive
237, David K. Levine.
- Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
- Dirk Sliwka, 2003.
"On the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes,"
Bonn Econ Discussion Papers
bgse12_2003, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Gary Charness, 1996. "Attribution and reciprocity in a simulated labor market: An experimental investigation," Economics Working Papers 283, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 1997.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1998.
"Motivation and Markets,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 388-411, June.
- MacLeod, W.B. & Malcomson, J.M., 1997. "Motivation and markets," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9720, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
- W. Bentley MacLeod & James Malcomson, 1997. "Motivation and Markets," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 339., Boston College Department of Economics.
- COOPER, R. & DEJONG, D.V. & FORSYTHE, R. & Tom Ross, 1989. "Communication In The Battle Of The Sexes Game," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 89-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
- 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, 05.
- Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006.
"A theory of reciprocity,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
- Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, . "A Theory of Reciprocity," IEW - Working Papers 006, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
- Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2004. "Relying on a man's word?: An experimental study on non-binding contracts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 299-332, September.
- Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2002. "Why Social Preferences Matter -- The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition, Cooperation and Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C1-C33, March.
- Neral, John & Ochs, Jack, 1992. "The Sequential Equilibrium Theory of Reputation Building: A Further Test," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1151-69, September.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997.
"Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997. "Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
- Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2000.
"A fine is a price,"
Natural Field Experiments
00258, The Field Experiments Website.
- Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Renner, Elke, 2000.
"The moonlighting game: An experimental study on reciprocity and retribution,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 265-277, June.
- Abbink, Klaus & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 1997. "The Moonlighting Game - An Experimental Study on Reciprocity and Retribution," Discussion Paper Serie B 415, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Frey, Bruno S, 1993. "Does Monitoring Increase Work Effort? The Rivalry with Trust and Loyalty," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 663-70, October.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:27:y:2006:i:1:p:21-40. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.