How the Visibility of Real-Effort Contribution Impacts Reciprocity

24 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2021

See all articles by Robizon Khubulashvili

Robizon Khubulashvili

University of Pittsburgh

Sera Linardi

University of Pittsburgh

Xiaohong Wang

University of Pittsburgh

Date Written: February 21, 2021

Abstract

Are we more generous the more we can see of how others have worked for our benefit? In our noisy gift-exchange game, recipients can perform a real-effort task to improve donors' lottery win probability. Donors observe the outcome of the lottery, then decide on their giving. Donors in the Numerical treatment see numerical measures of their recipient's effort, while those in the Visual treatment additionally see a 30-second video of the recipients performing the task. Echoing the outcome bias literature, the Numerical treatment showed that recipients' efforts are rewarded more generously when donors won the lottery. The Visual treatment corrects this asymmetry in rewarding effort but does not increase total giving. Post-experiment surveys suggest that this is because the video not only increases donors' familiarity with the recipients' work but also their perception that the task was not taxing, which decreases reciprocity.

Keywords: giving, reciprocity, real-effort, visibility, non-payoff relevant dimension, outcome bias, visual

JEL Classification: C92, D63, D64, D83

Suggested Citation

Khubulashvili, Robizon and Linardi, Sera and Wang, Xiaohong, How the Visibility of Real-Effort Contribution Impacts Reciprocity (February 21, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3789963 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3789963

Robizon Khubulashvili (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Sera Linardi

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Xiaohong Wang

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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