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Living in Two Neighborhoods - Social Interactions in the Lab

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  • Armin Falk
  • Urs Fischbacher
  • Simon G�chter

Abstract

Field evidence suggests that agents belonging to the same group tend to behave similarly, i.e., behavior exhibits social interaction effects. Testing for such effects raises severe identification problems. We conduct an experiment that avoids these problems. The main design feature is that each subject simultaneously is a member of two randomly assigned and economically identical groups where only members (�neighbors�) are different. In both groups subjects make contribution decisions to a public good. We speak of social interactions if the same subject at the same time makes group-specific contributions that depend on their respective neighbors� contribution. Our results are unambiguous evidence for social interactions. A majority of subjects is very strongly influenced by the contributions of their respective neighbors. Roughly ten percent exhibit no social interactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher & Simon G�chter, "undated". "Living in Two Neighborhoods - Social Interactions in the Lab," IEW - Working Papers 150, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:150
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    Cited by:

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    2. Pierre Salmon, 2003. "The assignment of powers in an open-ended European Union," Post-Print hal-00445601, HAL.
    3. Benno Torgler & Bruno S. Frey & Clevo Wilson, 2007. "Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence from 30 Countries," Working Papers 2007.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
    5. Bruno Frey, 2005. "‘‘Just forget it.’’ Memory distortions as bounded rationality," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 4(1), pages 13-25, June.
    6. Alexandre Mas & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Peers at Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 112-145, March.
    7. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    8. Krupka, Erin & Weber, Roberto A., 2009. "The focusing and informational effects of norms on pro-social behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 307-320, June.
    9. Torgler Benno & Frey Bruno S. & Wilson Clevo, 2009. "Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence on Littering," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-41, April.
    10. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2009. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 1-28.
    11. Benno Torgler & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2005. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain (2005)," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0521, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    12. Dong, Bin & Dulleck, Uwe & Torgler, Benno, 2012. "Conditional corruption," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 609-627.
    13. Ibanez, Marcela & Martinsson, Peter, 2008. "Can we do policy recommendations from a framed field experiment? The case of coca cultivation in Colombia," Working Papers in Economics 306, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    14. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Taxation and Conditional Taxation," Working Papers 2004/7, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    15. Bruno S. Frey & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Taxation and Conditional Cooperation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    16. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Fischer, Sven & Gueth, Werner, 2006. "Do Social Networks Inspire Employment? - An Experimental Analysis -," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 06-11, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    17. Siegfried Berninghaus & Sven Fischer & Werner Güth, 2006. "Social Networks and Employment - An Experimental Analysis," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-31, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    18. Bardsley, Nicholas & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2005. "Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 664-681, October.
    19. Alexandre, Michel, 2011. "Endogenous categorization and group inequality," MPRA Paper 33239, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Rupert Sausgruber, 2005. "Testing for Team Spirit - An Experimental Study," Experimental 0508001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. García-Valiñas, María A. & Macintyre, Alison & Torgler, Benno, 2012. "Volunteering, pro-environmental attitudes and norms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 455-467.
    22. Rupert Sausgruber, 2009. "A note on peer effects between teams," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(2), pages 193-201, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social interactions; identification; experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • 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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