149,225 research outputs found

    Social Preferences and Relational Contracting Performance: An Experimental Investigation

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    We examine how social preferences affect behavior and surplus in relational contracts. Experimental subjects participate in a contracting environment similar to Brown, Falk, and Fehr [Brown, M., Falk, A. & Fehr, E., “Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions, Econometrica, 72 (2004):747-780] and in social preference experiments adapted from Charness and Rabin [Charness, G. & Rabin, M. “Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 117(2002): 817-869]. Subjects’ behavior during the Charness and Rabin experiment is a significant predictor of behavior and outcomes observed during the subsequent multi-period, finite-horizon, relational- contracting environment, which features market power, unenforceable performance, reputation formation and endogenous matching of trading partners. Compared to subjects who respond to the Charness-Rabin games in a fashion consistent with purely self-interested, competitive or reciprocal social preferences, buyers and sellers with alternative social preference structures engage in contracts with substantially higher quality and price, which leads to greater surplus for both parties. A key difference is that self-interested, competitive and reciprocal buyers respond to early-period shirking by extending subsequent offers that are less generous to the seller, while buyers with other social preferences extend subsequent offers that are more generous. Reciprocal and competitive sellers and, to a lesser extent, self-interested sellers, deliver sub-contractual levels of quality more often, which substantially lowers buyer and total welfare. We conclude that intentional or ‘cold’ measures of social preferences have considerable predictive power in dynamic, interactive (or ‘hot’) economic settings.Contracts; relational contracts; implicit contracts; market interaction; experimental economics; repeated transaction; social preferences.

    Collusion and Reciprocity in Infinitely Repeated Games

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    This paper extends the standard industrial organization models of repeated interaction between firms by incorporating preferences for reciprocity. A reciprocal firm responds to unkind behavior of rivals with unkind actions (destructive reciprocity), while at the same time, it responds to kind behavior of rivals with kind actions (constructive reciprocity). The main finding of the paper is that, for plausible perceptions of fairness, preferences for reciprocity facilitate collusion in infinitely repeated market games, that is, the critical discount rate at wish collusion can be sustained tends to be lower when firms have preferences for reciprocity than when firms are selfish. The paper also finds that the best collusive outcome that can be sustained in the infinitely repeated Cournot game with reciprocal firms is worse for consumers than the best collusive outcome that can be sustained in the infinitely repeated Cournot game with selfish firms.

    Cooperative Prisoners and Aggressive Chickens: Evolution of Strategies and Preferences in 2x2 Games

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    By means of simulations I investigate a two-speed dynamic on strategies and preferences in the prisoners' dilemma and in the chicken game. Players learn strategies according to their preferences while evolution leads to a change in preference composition. With complete information cooperation in the prisoners' dilemma is often achieved, with 'reciprocal' preferences. In the chicken game a symmetric correlated strategy profile is played that is as efficient as the symmetric equilibrium. Among preferences only pure 'hawkish' preferences and 'selfish' preferences survive. With incomplete information, the symmetric equilibrium of the material payoff game is played. All types of preferences are present in the population in the medium run.

    Online Reciprocal Recommendation with Theoretical Performance Guarantees

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    A reciprocal recommendation problem is one where the goal of learning is not just to predict a user's preference towards a passive item (e.g., a book), but to recommend the targeted user on one side another user from the other side such that a mutual interest between the two exists. The problem thus is sharply different from the more traditional items-to-users recommendation, since a good match requires meeting the preferences of both users. We initiate a rigorous theoretical investigation of the reciprocal recommendation task in a specific framework of sequential learning. We point out general limitations, formulate reasonable assumptions enabling effective learning and, under these assumptions, we design and analyze a computationally efficient algorithm that uncovers mutual likes at a pace comparable to those achieved by a clearvoyant algorithm knowing all user preferences in advance. Finally, we validate our algorithm against synthetic and real-world datasets, showing improved empirical performance over simple baselines

    Environmental protection and the generalized system of preferences : a legal and appropriate linkage?

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    This article will question the legality of measures of environmental ‘conditionality’ in the Generalized System of Preferences [GSP] of the European Community [EC]. The GSP is a GATT/WTO authorized scheme which permits developed nations to grant non-reciprocal tariff preferences in favour of developing countries. The objectives of the GSP are primarily development-oriented in that it aims to increase the export earnings of developing countries, promote their industrialization and accelerate rates of economic growth. A recent case taken in the WTO examined the legal contours of the grant of tariff preferences and it is in the light of this that this article will examine the so-called ‘special incentive arrangements’ of the reformed EC GSP which offers additional tariff preferences to developing countries on the ‘condition’ that they adhere to specified standards of environmental protection

    Vote-Buying and Reciprocity

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    While vote-buying is common, little is known about how politicians determine who to target. We argue that vote-buying can be sustained by an internalized norm of reciprocity. Receiving money engenders feelings of obligation. Combining survey data on vote-buying with an experiment-based measure of reciprocity, we show that politicians target reciprocal individuals. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of social preferences in determining political behavior.vote-buying, reciprocity, redistributive politics, voting, social preferences

    Trust, Fear, Reciprocity, and Altruism: Theory and Experiment

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    This paper describes central topics in our research program on social preferences. The discussion covers experimental designs that discriminate among alternative components of preferences such as unconditional altruism, positive reciprocity, trust (in positive reciprocity), negative reciprocity, and fear (of negative reciprocity). The paper describes experimental data on effects of social distance and decision context on reciprocal behavior and male vs. female and group vs. individual differences in reciprocity. The exposition includes experimental designs that provide direct tests of alternative models of social preferences and summarizes implications of data for the models. The discussion reviews models of other-regarding preferences that are and are not conditional on othersâ?? revealed intentions and the implications of data for these models.

    Reciprocal Preferences in Matching Markets

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    Agents with reciprocal preferences prefer to be matched to a partner who also likes to collaborate with them. In this paper, we introduce and formalize reciprocal preferences, apply them to matching markets, and analyze the implications for mechanism design. Formally, the preferences of an agent can depend on the preferences of potential partners and there is incomplete information about the partners’ preferences. We find that there is no stable mechanism in standard two-sided markets. Observing the final allocation of the mechanism enables agents to learn about each other's preferences, leading to instability. However, in a school choice setting with one side of the market being non-strategic, modified versions of the deferred acceptance mechanism can achieve stability. These results provide insights into non-standard preferences in matching markets, and their implications for efficient information and mechanism design

    Carrot or Stick? Group Selection and the Evolution of Reciprocal Preferences

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    This paper studies the evolution of both characteristics of reciprocity - the willingness to reward friendly behavior and the willingness to punish hostile behavior. Firstly, preferences for rewarding as well as preferences for punishing can survive evolution provided individuals interact within separated groups. This holds even with randomly formed groups and even when individual preferences are unobservable. Secondly, preferences for rewarding survive only in coexistence with self-interested preferences. But preferences for punishing tend either to vanish or to dominate the population entirely. Finally, the evolution of preferences for rewarding and the evolution of preferences for punishing influence each other decisively. The existence of rewarders enhances the evolutionary success of punishers, but punishers crowd out rewarders
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