Measuring Reciprocity: Do Survey and Experimental Data Correlate?

28 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020

See all articles by sandra maximiano

sandra maximiano

University of Lisbon - ISEG School of Economics and Management

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the answers to commonly used attitudinal survey questions are significantly correlated with actual behavior and checks whether survey questions do exist that provide satisfactory measures of willingness to reciprocate. To address this issue I analyze the data from a questionnaire which subjects filled in after participating in a gift exchange experiment. I proceed in two steps. First, I perform a factor analysis to investigate whether different questions can be grouped into one factor. I then check whether the factors extracted correlate with the type of worker, as measured by the estimated slope parameter of the individual wage-effort schedule, and the employer’s wage choice. I extract four factors that correspond exactly with the a priori classification of the survey questions, i.e. reciprocal attitudes, trusting attitudes, lending behavior, and tipping attitudes. The results suggest that survey questions that ask respondents directly about their reciprocal attitude are the best predictor of actual reciprocal attitudes. Additionally, questions about trust appear to be a good predictor of employers’ wage offers.

Keywords: Reciprocity, Gift Exchange

Suggested Citation

maximiano, sandra, Measuring Reciprocity: Do Survey and Experimental Data Correlate? (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3589577 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3589577

Sandra Maximiano (Contact Author)

University of Lisbon - ISEG School of Economics and Management ( email )

Rua do Quelhas 6
Lisboa, 1200-781
Portugal

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