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Social Preferences? Google Answers!

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  • Tobias Regner

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

Abstract

We analyse pricing, effort and tipping decisions in the online service "Google Answers" While users set a price for the answer to their question ex ante, they can additionally give a tip to the researcher ex post. In line with the related experimental literature we find evidence that tipping is motivated by reciprocity, but also by reputation concerns among frequent users. Moreover, researchers seem to adjust their effort based on the user's previous tipping behaviour. An efficient sorting takes place when enough tip history is available. Users known for tipping in the past receive higher effort answers, while users with an established reputation for non-tipping tend to get low effort answers. In addition, we analyse how tipping is adopted when the behavioural default is not to tip and estimate minimum levels for the fraction of genuine reciprocator and imitator types.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Regner, 2009. "Social Preferences? Google Answers!," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-035, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-035
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Klaus M. Schmidt & Martin Spann & Robert Zeithammer, 2015. "Pay What You Want as a Marketing Strategy in Monopolistic and Competitive Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(6), pages 1217-1236, June.
    2. Vera Angelova & Tobias Regner, 2012. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental sender-receiver game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-011, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    3. Krämer, Florentin & Schmidt, Klaus M. & Spann, Martin & Stich, Lucas, 2017. "Delegating pricing power to customers: Pay What You Want or Name Your Own Price?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 125-140.
    4. Angelova, Vera & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental deception game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 205-218.
    5. Lynn, Michael, 2015. "Explanations of service gratuities and tipping: Evidence from individual differences in tipping motivations and tendencies," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 65-71.
    6. Tudón M., José F., 2015. "Pay-what-you-want because I do not know how much to charge you," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 41-44.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social preferences; reciprocity; moral hazard; reputation; Internet; psychological game theory;

    JEL classification:

    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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