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Do experimental subjects favor their friends?

Pablo Brañas Garza, Miguel Duran and Maria Paz Espinosa ()
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Pablo Brañas-Garza

No 2005-12, DFAEII Working Papers from University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II

Abstract: Ideally we would like subjects of experiments to be perfect strangers so that the situation they face at the lab is not just part of a long run interaction. Unfortunately, it is not easy to reach those conditions and experimenters try to mitigate any effects from those out-of-the-lab relationships by, for instance, randomly matching subjects. However, even if this type of procedure is used, there is a positive probability that a subject may face a friend or an acquaintance. We find evidence that social proximity between subjects is irrelevant to experiment results in dictator games. Thus, although ideal conditions are not met, relations between subjects do not contaminate the results of experiments.

Keywords: experimental procedures; friendship effect; dictator game; fairness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C99 D63 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-06
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Dpto. de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico II, = Facultad de CC. Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad del País Vasco, Avda. Lehendakari Aguirre 83, 48015 Bilbao, Spain

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