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Facebook-to-Facebook: Online Communication and Economic Cooperation

Anna Lou Abatayo (), John Lynham and Katerina Sherstyuk

No 201513, Working Papers from University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics

Abstract: Communication is often critical for economic cooperation and enhancement of trust. Traditionally, direct face-to-face communication has been found to be more effective than any form of indirect, mediated communication. We study whether this is still the case given that many people routinely use texting and online social media to conduct economic transactions. In out laboratory experiment, groups of participants communicate either (i) face-to-face, (ii) through the most popular online social network – Facebook, or (iii) using text messaging, before participating in a public goods or a trust game. While people talk significantly more under traditional face-to-face, discussion through Facebook and text messages prove as effective as face-to-face communication in enhancing cooperation and increasing trust. For all three media, discussions that focus on the game of use more positive emotion words are correlated with enhanced trust. It appears that young American adults are now just as adept at communicating and reducing social distance online as they are in person.

Keywords: communication technology; laboratory experiments; public good games; trust games (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 D03 D71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-net and nep-soc
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http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_15-13.pdf First version, 2015 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Facebook-to-Facebook: online communication and economic cooperation (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Facebook to Facebook: Online Communication and Economic Cooperation (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Facebook-to-Facebook: Online Communication and Economic Cooperation (2015) Downloads
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