Reputation formation in economic transactions

Abraham M, Grimm V, Neeß C, Seebauer M (2016)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2016


Publisher: Elsevier

Book Volume: 121

Pages Range: 1-14

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.10.010


We investigate patterns of information transmission and the evolution of behaviour in standard trust games where reputational information can be exchanged between individual agents within a population, but does not become public. We vary the nature of information that could be transmitted (either a subjective rating or the objective details of a transaction), as well as the cost of information transmission (either zero or positive). We find that information transmission is heavily used if it is costless but only moderately if it has positive cost. Objective information effectively increases the average amount sent in the trust game (and thus, efficiency and average profits) as well as the return rate only if transmission is costless and therefore is heavily used. Subjective information (a rating) only increases transfer and return rates in a control treatment where it becomes publicly available, but not for private communication. A detailed analysis of the determinants of information transmission shows a positive influence of (a) the transfer made to a receiver, (b) experience of exploitation, and (c) points to reciprocity in information transmission.

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Abraham, M., Grimm, V., Neeß, C., & Seebauer, M. (2016). Reputation formation in economic transactions. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 121, 1-14.


Abraham, Martin, et al. "Reputation formation in economic transactions." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 121 (2016): 1-14.

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