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Immaterial and Monetary Gifts in Economic Transactions - Evidence from the Field

Listed author(s):
  • Michael Kirchler

    ()

    (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Innsbruck
    Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)

  • Stefan Palan

    ()

    (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Graz
    Department of Banking and Finance, University of Innsbruck)

Reciprocation of monetary gifts is well-understood in economics. In contrast, there is little research on reciprocal behavior following immaterial gifts like compliments. We close this gap and investigate how employees reciprocate after receiving immaterial and material gifts. We purchase (1) ice cream from fast food restaurants, and (2) durum doner, a common lunch snack, from independent vendors. Prior to the food's preparation, we either compliment or tip the salesperson. Salespersons reciprocate compliments with higher product weight than in a control treatment. This reciprocal behavior grows over repeated transactions. Tips have a stronger level effect which marginally decreases over time.

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File URL: http://static.uni-graz.at/fileadmin/sowi/Working_Paper/2016-01_Kirchler_Palan.pdf
File Function: First version, 2016
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Paper provided by Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz in its series Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences with number 2016-01.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 10 May 2016
Handle: RePEc:grz:wpsses:2016-01
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