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Can Competition Spoil Reciprocity? - A Laboratory Experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Oliver Falck
  • Niels Große

This paper investigates how group membership and competition among trustors interact with trust and trustworthiness in a laboratory one-shot trust game. To analyze these effects, we apply a 2x2 design. We induce group membership by letting subjects play coordination games with clear focal points, leading to higher investments and trustworthiness. Introducing competition leads to a decrease in trustworthiness, especially among partners. We argue that once competition comes into play, trustees perceive trustors’ investments as the outcomes of a competitive bidding process rather than good intentions, which reduces reciprocity.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-01/cesifo1_wp2923.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2923.

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Date of creation: 2010
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2923
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  22. Slonim, Robert & Guillen, Pablo, 2010. "Gender selection discrimination: Evidence from a Trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 385-405, November.
  23. Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap & Daniel John Zizzo, 2009. "The Value of Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 295-323, March.
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  27. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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