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Can Competition Spoil Reciprocity? - A Laboratory Experiment

  • 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
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2923
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  1. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  8. 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.
  9. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  12. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
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  14. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  15. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  16. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  17. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
  18. Cassar, Alessandra & Rigdon, Mary, 2011. "Trust and trustworthiness in networked exchange," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 282-303, March.
  19. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2006. "The Impact of Group Membership on Cooperation and Norm Enforcement: Evidence Using Random Assignment to Real Social Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 212-216, May.
  20. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital And Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 909, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  21. 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.
  22. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  23. Bornhorst, Fabian & Ichino, Andrea & Kirchkamp, Oliver & Schlag, Karl H. & Winter, Eyal, 2004. "How do People Play a Repeated Trust Game? Experimental Evidence," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 04-43, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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