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What Do We Expect from Our Friends?

Author

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  • Leider, Stephen
  • Mobius, Markus
  • Rosenblat, Tanya
  • Do, Quoc-Ahn

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment in a large real-world social network to examine how subjects expect to be treated by their friends and by strangers who make allocation decisions in modified dictator games. While recipients’ beliefs accurately account for the extent to which friends will choose more generous allocations than strangers (i.e. directed altruism), recipients are not able to anticipate individual differences in the baseline altruism of allocators (measured by giving to an unnamed recipient, which is predictive of generosity towards named recipients). Recipients who are direct friends with the allocator, or even recipients with many common friends, are no more accurate in recognizing intrinsically altruistic allocators. Recipient beliefs are significantly less accurate than the predictions of an econometrician who knows the allocator’s demographic characteristics and social distance, suggesting recipients do not have information on unobservable characteristics of the allocator.
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Suggested Citation

  • Leider, Stephen & Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya & Do, Quoc-Ahn, 2010. "What Do We Expect from Our Friends?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 32103, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:32103
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth, 2013. "Selfishness As a Potential Cause of Crime. A Prison Experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1815-1851.
    3. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    4. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Alistair J. Wilson & Leeat Yariv, 2012. "A Field Study on Matching with Network Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1773-1804, August.
    5. Christine Binzel & Dietmar Fehr, 2010. "Social Relationships and Trust," Working Papers 542, Economic Research Forum, revised 09 Jan 2010.
    6. repec:pit:wpaper:486 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth & Thomas Pitz, 2010. "At the Mercy of the Prisoner Next Door. Using an Experimental Measure of Selfishness as a Criminological Tool," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_27, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    8. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2012. "The Impact of Social Ties on Group Interactions: Evidence from Minimal Groups and Randomly Assigned Real Groups," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 101-115, February.
    9. Baul, Tushi, 2013. "Self-selection and peer-effects in experimental labor markets," ISU General Staff Papers 201301010800004327, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    10. Alexander Morell, 2014. "The Short Arm of Guilt: Guilt Aversion Plays Out More Across a Short Social Distance," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2014_19, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Dec 2016.
    11. Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Giving and sorting among friends: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 214-217.
    12. Rudolf Vetschera & Guenther Kainz, 2013. "Do Self-Reported Strategies Match Actual Behavior in a Social Preference Experiment?," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 823-849, September.
    13. Kamaluddin, Amrizah & Hadi, Nabawiyah Abdul & Alam, Md. Mahmudul & Adil, Mohamed Azam Mohamed, 2019. "Social Collateral Model for Islamic Microfinance," SocArXiv ya8ft, Center for Open Science.
    14. Fabian Winter & Mitesh Kataria, 2013. "You Are Who Your Friends Are: An Experiment on Trust and Homophily in Friendship Networks," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-044, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    15. Schürz, Simon & Alem, Yonas & Kocher, Martin G. & Carlsson, Fredrik & Lindahl, Mikael, 2020. "Distributional Preferences in Adolescent Peer Networks," IHS Working Paper Series 20, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    16. Monic Sun & Xiaoquan (Michael) Zhang & Feng Zhu, 2012. "To Belong or to Be Different? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment in China," Working Papers 12-15, NET Institute, revised Oct 2012.
    17. Morell, Alexander, 2019. "The short arm of guilt – An experiment on group identity and guilt aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 332-345.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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