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Trust, reciprocity and altruism: An impossible addition

Giovanni Di Bartolomeo () and Stefano Papa ()

wp.comunite from Department of Communication, University of Teramo

Abstract: This paper attempts to measure conditional and unconditional other-regarding preferences in two versions of an investment game: a canonical one and a cheap-talk variant where some pre-play is also allowed (i.e., non-binding unilateral messages). We find that counter-factual measures, as the well-known triadic design (Cox, 2004 [G&EB]) may systematically fail in distinguishing between conditional and unconditional other-regarding preferences due to the existence of frame effects. Specifically, by using indirect methods, we document conditional other-regarding preferences that are systematically neglected by the triadic approach. By inspecting result from the cheap-talk variant of the game, we also find that messages have no effect on average, but they affect the participants’ behavior leading to a polarization of their choices.

Keywords: Conditional and unconditional other-regarding preferences; trust; reciprocity; investment game; frame effect; polarization effect; cheap talk (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 C91 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-gth and nep-soc
Date: 2011-10
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Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ter:wpaper:0082

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