Social Distance and Reciprocity: The Internet vs. The Laboratory

37 Pages Posted: 15 May 2002

See all articles by Gary Charness

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics

Ernan Haruvy

University of Texas at Dallas - Naveen Jindal School of Management

Doron Sonsino

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - The William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management

Date Written: November 2003

Abstract

We explore the effects of social distance in experiments conducted over the Internet on three continents, in classroom laboratory sessions conducted in Israel and Spain, and in computer sessions pairing participants from different states-one in Texas and the other in California. Our design elicits individual behavior profiles over a range of contingencies, enabling us to identify heterogeneity among our participants. We find that many people show regard for others, even with the apparent social distance inherent with Internet interaction. In all cases, a substantial minority makes choices indicating positive reciprocity; the proportion doing so varies inversely with social distance.

Keywords: Internet Experiments, Lost-wallet Game, Reciprocity, Social Distance

JEL Classification: A13, B49, C70, C91, C99, D63

Suggested Citation

Charness, Gary and Haruvy, Ernan and Sonsino, Doron, Social Distance and Reciprocity: The Internet vs. The Laboratory (November 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=312141 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.312141

Gary Charness (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
805-893-2412 (Phone)
805-893-8830 (Fax)

Ernan Haruvy

University of Texas at Dallas - Naveen Jindal School of Management ( email )

P.O. Box 830688
Richardson, TX 75083-0688
United States

Doron Sonsino

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - The William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management ( email )

Haifa 32000
Israel
(972) 4-8294435 (Phone)

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