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Group Reputations - An Experimental Foray

  • Steffen Huck
  • Gabriele K. Lünser

Often information structures are such that while individual reputation building is impossible groups of agents would have the possibility of building up a reputation. We experimentally examine whether groups of sellers in markets that suffer from moral hazard are able to build up reputations and, thus, avoid market breakdown. We contrast our findings with situations where sellers alternatively can build up an individual reputation or where there are no possibilities for reputation building at all. Our results offer a rather optimistic outlook on group reputations. Even though each seller only receives some of the reputation benefits of withstanding short-run incentives, sellers are able to overcome the dilemma and successfully exploit the information structure.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-Ifo_Working_Papers/wp-ifo-2005-2010/IfoWorkingPaper-51.pdf
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Paper provided by Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series Ifo Working Paper Series with number Ifo Working Paper No. 51.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_51
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  1. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-99, February.
  2. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1988. "Experimental Tests of a Sequential Equilibrium Reputation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-36, January.
  3. James Andreoni & John H Miller, 1997. "Rational Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma: experimental evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 670, David K. Levine.
  4. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
  5. Tirole, Jean, 1994. ""A Theory of Collective Reputations" with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality," IDEI Working Papers 38, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2003. "How Effective are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation," Working Paper Series in Economics 3, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  7. 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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