IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wil/wileco/2008-22.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Remain Silent and Ye Shall Suffer: Seller Exploitation of Reticent Buyers in an Experimental Reputation System

Author

Listed:

Abstract

By providing incentives for sellers to act in a trustworthy manner, reputation mechanisms in many online environments can mitigate moral-hazard problems when particular buyers and sellers interact infrequently. However, these mechanisms rely on buyers sharing their private information about sellers with the community, and thus may suffer from too little feedback when its provision is costly. In this experimental study, we compare a standard feedback mechanism to one in which sellers can inspect a buyer's feedback-provision history, thus providing the buyer with incentives to share private information even when costly. We find fairly high trust and trustworthiness levels in all markets, with buyers showing a willingness to provide costly feedback, especially negative feedback, sufficient to induce seller trustworthiness. While we find, ceteris paribus, evidence that the availability of feedback-provision histories increases buyer trust by reducing missing feedback, it did not improve overall trustworthiness as this information enabled sellers to discriminate and act in a trustworthy manner less frequently with those who share information less frequently.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert S. Gazzale & Tapan Khopkar, 2008. "Remain Silent and Ye Shall Suffer: Seller Exploitation of Reticent Buyers in an Experimental Reputation System," Department of Economics Working Papers 2008-22, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2008-22
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/GazzaleKhopkar_ISE_200812.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Engelmann, Dirk & Fischbacher, Urs, 2009. "Indirect reciprocity and strategic reputation building in an experimental helping game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 399-407, November.
    2. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "The demand for punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 522-542, April.
    3. Huck, Steffen & Lünser, Gabriele K. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "Competition fosters trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 195-209.
    4. Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2004. "How Effective Are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1587-1602, November.
    5. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
    6. Iris Bohnet & Steffen Huck, 2004. "Repetition and Reputation: Implications for Trust and Trustworthiness When Institutions Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 362-366, May.
    7. Jeffrey C. Ely & Juuso Välimäki, 2003. "Bad Reputation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 785-814.
    8. Li, Lingfang (Ivy) & Xiao, Erte, 2010. "Money Talks? An Experimental Study of Rebate in Reputation System Design," MPRA Paper 22401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    11. Robert Gazzale & Tapan Khopkar, 2011. "Remain silent and ye shall suffer: seller exploitation of reticent buyers in an experimental reputation system," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(2), pages 273-285, May.
    12. M.A. Nowak & K. Sigmund, 1998. "Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity by Image Scoring/ The Dynamics of Indirect Reciprocity," Working Papers ir98040, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
    13. Dellarocas, Chrysanthos, 2003. "The Digitization of Word-of-mouth: Promise and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms," Working papers 4296-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    14. Chrysanthos Dellarocas & Charles A. Wood, 2008. "The Sound of Silence in Online Feedback: Estimating Trading Risks in the Presence of Reporting Bias," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(3), pages 460-476, March.
    15. Nikos Nikiforakis, 2004. "Punishment and Counter-punishment in Public Goods Games: Can we still govern ourselves?," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/05, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Apr 2004.
    16. Andreoni, James A & Miller, John H, 1993. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 570-585, May.
    17. Lingfang (Ivy) Li, 2010. "Reputation, Trust, and Rebates: How Online Auction Markets Can Improve Their Feedback Mechanisms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 303-331, June.
    18. Paul Resnick & Richard Zeckhauser & John Swanson & Kate Lockwood, 2006. "The value of reputation on eBay: A controlled experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(2), pages 79-101, June.
    19. repec:cup:apsrev:v:86:y:1992:i:02:p:404-417_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Chrysanthos Dellarocas, 2003. "The Digitization of Word of Mouth: Promise and Challenges of Online Feedback Mechanisms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(10), pages 1407-1424, October.
    21. Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena & Ockenfels, Axel, 2005. "Cooperation among strangers with limited information about reputation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1457-1468, August.
    22. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
    23. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
    24. Robert Gazzale, 2005. "Giving Gossips Their Due: Information Provision in Games with Private Monitoring," Game Theory and Information 0508002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    25. Johnson, Eric J. & Camerer, Colin & Sen, Sankar & Rymon, Talia, 1998. "Detecting Failures of Backward Induction: Monitoring Information Search in Sequential Bargaining," Working Papers 1040, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    26. Bakos, Yannis & Dellarocas, Chrysanthos, 2003. "Cooperation Without Enforcement? A comparative analysis of litigation and online reputation as quality assurance mechanisms," Working papers 4295-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    27. Johnson, Eric J. & Camerer, Colin & Sen, Sankar & Rymon, Talia, 2002. "Detecting Failures of Backward Induction: Monitoring Information Search in Sequential Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 16-47, May.
    28. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80.
    29. Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser, 2005. "Emotion expression in human punishment behavior," Experimental 0504003, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 May 2005.
    30. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Wibral, 2015. "Identity changes and the efficiency of reputation systems," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 408-431, September.
    2. David Masclet & Thierry Pénard, 2008. "Is the ebay feedback system really efficient ? an experimental study," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 200803, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    3. Lumeau, Marianne & Masclet, David & Penard, Thierry, 2015. "Reputation and social (dis)approval in feedback mechanisms: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 127-140.
    4. Robert Gazzale & Tapan Khopkar, 2011. "Remain silent and ye shall suffer: seller exploitation of reticent buyers in an experimental reputation system," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(2), pages 273-285, May.
    5. Lingfang (Ivy) Li & Erte Xiao, 2014. "Money Talks: Rebate Mechanisms in Reputation System Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(8), pages 2054-2072, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experimental economics; trust; reputation; electronic markets;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • 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
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2008-22. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephen Sheppard). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/edwilus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.