An Economic Analysis of Business Drinking: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-field Experiment
40 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2019
Date Written: November 18, 2019
Alcohol consumption is an important component of business negotiations across many cultures, yet this behavior remains unmodeled and its potential implications untested. This paper is a step towards filling that gap. We develop a theory that combines guilt-aversion with a canonical alcohol myopia framework. Our GAAM (guilt aversion and alcohol myopia) model predicts that intoxication increases promise-making but has no effect on promise-breaking. We test these predictions using a prisoner’s dilemma game with pre-play communication in a lab-in-the-field experiment. Among males, we find behavior consistent with predictions: intoxication promotes promise-making behavior but does not impact the rate at which promises are trusted or broken. Consequently, intoxication increases communication efficiency. We do not observe intoxication to impact female promise-making, trusting, or promise-breaking behaviors. This is consistent with previous empirical findings that females are substantially less sensitive than males to alcohol-induced myopia.
Keywords: Business drinking; Communication; Guilt aversion; Alcohol myopia; Gender difference
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