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The value of verbal feedback in allocation decisions

Robert Schmidt, Christiane Schwieren and Martin Vollmann

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2020, vol. 87, issue C

Abstract: Depending on the context at hand, people's preference for receiving feedback might differ. Especially in allocation decisions that directly concern another individual, feedback from the affected person can have positive or negative value. We study such preferences in a laboratory experiment by eliciting the willingness-to-pay to receive or to avoid verbal feedback from subjects that were previously affected by an allocation decision. We find that most decision makers exhibit a positive willingness-to-pay for having control about whether feedback occurs or not. Specifically, decision makers that shared their endowment with the recipient equally revealed a positive willingness-to-pay for receiving, but not for avoiding feedback. By contrast, among decision makers that behaved selfishly, we identify both: subjects that were willing to pay for receiving and subjects that were willing to pay for avoiding feedback. The stated motivations indicate that curiosity, the desire to receive social approval and giving the recipient the chance to express his/her feelings are the main reasons for feedback acquisition, while shame and fear of negative feedback are the main reasons for avoidance.

Keywords: Feedback; Communication; Non-instrumental information; Social preferences; Information avoidance; Curiosity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 D83 C91 C78 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:soceco:v:87:y:2020:i:c:s2214804319305063

DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2020.101548

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Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics) is currently edited by Ofer Azar

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