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Are we nice(r) to nice(r) people? - An Experimental Analysis

  • Max Albert
  • Werner Güth
  • Erich Kirchler
  • Boris Maciejovsky

We experimentally investigate whether individuals can reliably detect cooperators in an anonymous decision environment by allowing participants to condition their choices in an asymmetric prisoner's dilemma and a trust game (i) on their partner's donation share to a self-selected charity, and (ii) on whether their partner belongs to a group with high or low average donations (group affiliation). We find that high donators achieve a higher-than-average expected payoff by cooperating predominantly with other high donators. The group affiliation proved to be irrelevant.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2002-15.

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Date of creation: May 2002
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Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2002-15
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  1. Congleton, Roger D. & Vanberg, Viktor J., 2001. "Help, harm or avoid? On the personal advantage of dispositions to cooperate and punish in multilateral PD games with exit," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 145-167, February.
  2. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  3. Bornstein, Gary & Winter, Eyal & Goren, Harel, 1996. "Experimental study of repeated team-games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 629-639, December.
  4. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
  5. Clark, Kenneth & Sefton, Martin, 2001. "The Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma: Evidence on Reciprocation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 51-68, January.
  6. Güth, Werner & Levati, Maria Vittoria & Stiehler, Andreas, 2002. "Privately contributing to public goods over time: An experimental study," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,18, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  7. M. Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 153-169, 06.
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