Immaterial and monetary gifts in economic transactions. Evidence from the field
Michael Kirchler () and
Stefan Palan ()
Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck
Reciprocation of monetary gifts is well-understood in economics. In contrast, there is little research on reciprocal behavior following immaterial gifts like compliments. We narrow this gap and investigate how employees reciprocate after receiving immaterial gifts and material gifts over time. We purchase (1) ice cream from fast food restaurants, and (2) durum doner, a common lunch snack, from independent vendors. Prior to the food?s preparation, we either compliment or tip the salesperson. We find that salespersons recip- rocate compliments with higher product weight than in a control treatment. Importantly, this reciprocal behavior following immaterial gifts grows over repeated transactions. Tips, in contrast, have a stronger level effect which does not change over time.
Keywords: gift exchange; reciprocity; natural field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D01 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-cbe
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Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:inn:wpaper:2016-12
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