Experimental Economics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 1–24 | Cite as

Implications of trust, fear, and reciprocity for modeling economic behavior

  • James C. Cox
  • Klarita Sadiraj
  • Vjollca Sadiraj


This paper reports three experiments with triadic or dyadic designs. The experiments include the moonlighting game in which first-mover actions can elicit positively or negatively reciprocal reactions from second movers. First movers can be motivated by trust in positive reciprocity or fear of negative reciprocity, in addition to unconditional other-regarding preferences. Second movers can be motivated by unconditional other-regarding preferences as well as positive or negative reciprocity. The experimental designs include control treatments that discriminate among actions with alternative motivations. Data from our three experiments and a fourth one are used to explore methodological questions, including the effects on behavioral hypothesis tests of within-subjects vs. across-subjects designs, single-blind vs. double-blind payoffs, random vs. dictator first-mover control treatments, and strategy responses vs. sequential play.


Experiments Theory Parsimony Trust Fear Reciprocity Methodology 


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Supplementary material

10683_2006_9156_MOESEM1_ESM.doc (440 kb)
Appendix. Derivation of Testable Hypotheses


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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Cox
    • 1
  • Klarita Sadiraj
    • 2
  • Vjollca Sadiraj
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics and Experimental Economics Center (ExCen), Andrew Young School of Policy StudiesGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Social and Cultural Planning Office of The Netherlands (SCP)The HagueThe Netherlands

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