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Living in Two Neighborhoods – Social Interaction Effects in the Lab

Author

Listed:
  • Armin Falk

    (University of Bonn)

  • Urs Fischbacher

    (University of Konstanz)

  • Simon Gaechter

    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

Field evidence suggests that people belonging to the same group often behave similarly, i.e., behavior exhibits social interaction effects. We conduct a laboratory experiment that avoids the identification problem present in the field and allows us to study the behavioral logic of social interaction effects. Our novel design feature is that each subject is simultaneously a member of two randomly assigned and identical groups where only members (‘neighbors’) are different. We study behavior in a coordination game with multiple equilibria and a public goods game, which has only one equilibrium in material payoffs. We speak of social interactions if the same subject at the same time makes group-specific decisions that depend on their respective neighbors’ decisions. We find that a majority of subjects exhibits social interaction effects both when the game has multiple equilibria in material payoffs and when it only has one equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Living in Two Neighborhoods – Social Interaction Effects in the Lab," Discussion Papers 2009-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2009-01
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    File URL: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cedex/documents/papers/2009-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social interactions; identification; experiments; coordination; cooperation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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