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Endogenous social influence in an experimental dilemma game

We study whether people's behavior in a one-shot sequential public goods type situation is affected by social information about average behavior by others in the same situation. The kind of social information we consider does not directly affect subjects' payoffs and we are, therefore, able to separate pure social influence from more conventional distributional effects. We find clear evidence for other-regarding preferences; a specific patterns that we identify is that the more generous a subject, the more reciprocal his responses to others' actions. However, there is very little indication of social influence in our data. The results suggest that current static models of social preferences need not take into account the effect of social influence.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number 2004/59.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2004_59
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  1. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 1998. "Hot vs. cold: Sequential responses and preference stability in experimental games," Economics Working Papers 321, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  4. Schram, Arthur, 2000. "Sorting Out the Seeking: The Economics of Individual Motivations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 231-258, June.
  5. Manski, C.F., 1992. "Identification Problems in the Social Sciences," Working papers 9217, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. Avner Ben-Ner & Famin Kong & Louis Putterman & Dan Magan, "undated". "Reciprocity in a Two-Part Dictator Game," Working Papers 0902, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  7. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2002. "Discrimination by Gender and Social Distance," Research Papers in Economics 2002:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  8. Iris Bohnet & Richard Zeckhauser, 2004. "Social comparisons in ultimatum bargaining," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  9. Myles, Gareth D. & Naylor, Robin A., 1996. "A model of tax evasion with group conformity and social customs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 49-66, April.
  10. Gary E. Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Elena Katok, 2000. "How strategy sensitive are contributions?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 15(2), pages 367-387.
  11. S. N. Durlauf, "undated". "A Framework for the Study of Individual Behavior and Social Interactions," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1220-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  12. Gary Bolton, 1998. "Bargaining and Dilemma Games: From Laboratory Data Towards Theoretical Synthesis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(3), pages 257-281, December.
  13. Timothy N. Cason & Vai-Lam Mui, 1998. "Social Influence in the Sequential Dictator Game," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-37, Monash University, Department of Economics.
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