Do Managers Reciprocate? Field Experimental Evidence From a Competitive Market
Michel Maréchal () and
Christian Thöni ()
University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 from Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen
A substantive amount of lab experimental evidence suggests that the norm of reciprocity has important economic consequences. However, it is unclear whether the norm of reciprocity survives in a natural and competitive environment with experienced agents. For this purpose we analyze data from a natural field experiment conducted with sales representatives who were instructed to randomly distribute product samples as gifts to their business partners. We find that distributing gifts to store managers boosts sales revenue substantially, which is consistent with the notion of reciprocity. However, the results underline that the nature of the relationship between market participants crucially affects the prevalence of reciprocal behavior.
Keywords: reciprocity; gift exchange; field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 C93 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-soc
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Working Paper: Do managers reciprocate? Field experimental evidence from a competitive market (2007)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:usg:dp2007:2007-09
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