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

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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.

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Correspondence to James C. Cox.

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JEL Classification C70, C91, D63, D64

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Cox, J.C., Sadiraj, K. & Sadiraj, V. Implications of trust, fear, and reciprocity for modeling economic behavior. Exp Econ 11, 1–24 (2008).

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