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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. Sainty, Barbara, 1999. "Achieving greater cooperation in a noisy prisoner's dilemma: an experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 421-435, July.
  2. 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.
  3. Jim Andreoni & Larry Samuelson, 2003. "Building Rational Cooperation," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000068, www.najecon.org.
  4. Maria Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2001. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2001-04, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  5. Camerer, Colin F. & Knez, Marc & Weber, Roberto A., 1996. "Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and Weak Link Coordination Games," Working Papers 970, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  6. 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.
  7. Albert, Max & Heiner, Ronald Asher, 2001. "An Indirect-Evolution Approach to Newcomb's Problem," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 2001-01, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Rachel Croson & Enrique Fatás & Tibor Neugebauer, 2004. "Reciprocity, Matching and Conditional Cooperation in Two Public Goods Games," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/32, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  10. 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.
  11. Seinen, Ingrid & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Social status and group norms: Indirect reciprocity in a repeated helping experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 581-602, April.
  12. R. Muller & Asha Sadanand, 2003. "Order of Play, Forward Induction, and Presentation Effects in Two-Person Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 5-25, June.
  13. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
  14. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
  15. Johnson, Philip & Levine, David K. & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 2001. "Evolution and Information in a Gift-Giving Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 1-21, September.
  16. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  17. 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.
  18. David K Levine, 1997. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2047, David K. Levine.
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