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Disclosure of Belief-Dependent Preferences in a Trust Game

Author

Listed:
  • Giuseppe Attanasi
  • Pierpaolo Battigalli
  • Rosemarie Nagel

Abstract

Experimental evidence suggests that agents in social dilemmas have belief-dependent, other-regarding preferences. But in experimental games such preferences cannot be common knowledge, because subjects play with anonymous co-players. We address this issue theoretically and experimentally in the context of a trust game, assuming that the trustee’s choice may be affected by a combination of guilt aversion and intention-based reciprocity. We recover trustees’ belief-dependent preferences from their answers to a structured questionnaire. In the main treatment, the answers are disclosed and made common knowledge within each matched pair, while in the control treatment there is no disclosure. Our main auxiliary assumption is that such disclosure approximately implements a psychological game with complete information. To organize the data, we classify subjects according to their elicited preferences, and test predictions for the two treatments using both rationalizability and equilibrium. We find that guilt aversion is the prevalent psychological motivation, and that behavior and elicited beliefs move in the direction predicted by the theory. JEL classification: C72, C91, D03. Keywords: Experiments, trust game, guilt, reciprocity, complete and incomplete information.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Attanasi & Pierpaolo Battigalli & Rosemarie Nagel, 2013. "Disclosure of Belief-Dependent Preferences in a Trust Game," Working Papers 506, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:506
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.igier.unibocconi.it/wp/2013/506.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs, 2008. "Testing theories of fairness--Intentions matter," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 287-303, January.
    2. Charles Bellemare & Alexander Sebald & Martin Strobel, 2011. "Measuring the willingness to pay to avoid guilt: estimation using equilibrium and stated belief models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 437-453, April.
    3. Khalmetski, Kiryl & Ockenfels, Axel & Werner, Peter, 2015. "Surprising gifts: Theory and laboratory evidence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 163-208.
    4. Giuseppe Attanasi & Pierpaolo Battigalli & Elena Manzoni, 2016. "Incomplete-Information Models of Guilt Aversion in the Trust Game," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(3), pages 648-667, March.
    5. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
    6. Stanca, Luca & Bruni, Luigino & Corazzini, Luca, 2009. "Testing theories of reciprocity: Do motivations matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 233-245, August.
    7. Camelia M. Kuhnen & Agnieszka Tymula, 2012. "Feedback, Self-Esteem, and Performance in Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(1), pages 94-113, January.
    8. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    9. Guerra, Gerardo & John Zizzo, Daniel, 2004. "Trust responsiveness and beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 25-30, September.
    10. Dufwenberg, Martin, 2002. "Marital investments, time consistency and emotions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 57-69, May.
    11. ATTANASI Giuseppe & NAGEL Rosemarie, 2008. "A Survey of Psychological Games: Theoretical Findings and Experimental Evidence," LERNA Working Papers 08.07.251, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    12. Michael Bacharach & Gerardo Guerra & Daniel Zizzo, 2007. "The Self-Fulfilling Property of Trust: An Experimental Study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(4), pages 349-388, December.
    13. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    14. Christoph Vanberg, 2008. "Why Do People Keep Their Promises? An Experimental Test of Two Explanations -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1467-1480, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hauge, Karen Evelyn, 2016. "Generosity and guilt: The role of beliefs and moral standards of others," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 35-43.
    2. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9543-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Gabriele Beneduci & Pietro Tebaldi, 2017. "Interactive Epistemology in Simple Dynamic Games with a Continuum of Strategies," Working Papers 602, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. De Marco Giuseppe & Immordino Giovanni, 2014. "Reciprocity in the Principal–Multiple Agent Model," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-38, January.
    5. Pelligra, Vittorio & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2016. "Responding to (Un)Reasonable Requests," IZA Discussion Papers 10189, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Charles Bellemare & Alexander Sebald & Sigrid Suetens, 2018. "Heterogeneous guilt sensitivities and incentive effects," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(2), pages 316-336, June.
    7. repec:spr:jesaex:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40881-017-0043-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Giuseppe Attanasi & Pierpaolo Battigalli & Elena Manzoni, 2016. "Incomplete-Information Models of Guilt Aversion in the Trust Game," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(3), pages 648-667, March.
    9. Eric Cardella, 2016. "Exploiting the guilt aversion of others: do agents do it and is it effective?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 80(4), pages 523-560, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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