Individual Versus Group Behavior and the Role of the Decision Making Procedure in Gift-Exchange Experiments
Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems, Papers on Strategic Interaction Working Paper No. 27-2002
32 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2003
Date Written: August 2002
We test for behavioral differences between groups and individuals in gift-exchange experiments. Related studies establish group behavior as typically closer to the game - theoretic equilibrium. We show that this result may depend crucially on the decision making procedure within groups. A novel decision making protocol opens up the black box of group decision making and allows to track important features of the group interaction process. We are able to show that the mere fact of being a group member shifts initial individual choices towards the game - theoretic equilibrium.
Keywords: gift-exchange experiment, group behavior, individual behavior, decision making, reciprocity
JEL Classification: C72, C91, C92, D70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation