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Living in Two Neighborhoods - Social Interactions in the Lab


Falk, Armin; Fischbacher, Urs; Gächter, Simon (2003). Living in Two Neighborhoods - Social Interactions in the Lab. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 150, University of Zurich.

Abstract

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

Abstract

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

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:May 2003
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:32
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 12:53
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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