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A Model of Smiling as a Costly Signal of Cooperation Opportunities

Author

Listed:
  • Samuele Centorrino

    (Department of Economics - SBU - Stony Brook University [SUNY] - SUNY - State University of New York)

  • Elodie Djemai

    (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine)

  • Astrid Hopfensitz

    (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

  • Manfred Milinski

    (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft)

  • Paul Seabright

    (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Abstract

We develop a theoretical model under which "genuine" or "convincing" smiling is a costly signal that has evolved to induce cooperation in situations requiring mutual trust. Prior to a trust interaction involving a decision by a sender to send money to a recipient, the recipient can emit a signal to induce the sender to trust them. The signal takes the form of a smile that may be perceived as more or less convincing, and that can be made more convincing with the investment of greater effort. Individuals differ in their degree of altruism and in their tendency to display reciprocity. The model generates three testable predictions. First, the perceived quality of the recipient's smile is increasing in the size of the stake. Secondly, the amount sent by the sender is increasing in the perceived quality of the recipient's smile. Thirdly, the expected gain to senders from sending money to the recipient is increasing in the perceived quality of the recipient's smile.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuele Centorrino & Elodie Djemai & Astrid Hopfensitz & Manfred Milinski & Paul Seabright, 2015. "A Model of Smiling as a Costly Signal of Cooperation Opportunities," Post-Print hal-01648089, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01648089
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01648089
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    Keywords

    Smiling; Costly signaling; Experiment; Trust game;

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