School of Mathematical Sciences

The role of costly information and unreliable reputation in networked cooperative interactions: experimental evidence menu

The role of costly information and unreliable reputation in networked cooperative interactions: experimental evidence

Speaker: 
Alberto Antonioni (University Carlos III, Madrid)
Date/Time: 
Thu, 16/06/2016 - 16:00
Room: 
103
Seminar series: 

We all need to rely on cooperation with other individuals in many aspects of everyday life, such as teamwork and economic exchange in anonymous markets. In this seminar I will present two laboratory experiments which focus on the impact of information and reputation on human behavior when people engage cooperative interactions on dynamic networks. In the first study, we investigate whether and how the ability to make or break links in social networks fosters cooperation, paying particular attention to whether information on an individual’s actions is freely available to potential partners. Studying the role of information is relevant as complete knowledge on other people’s actions is often not available for free. In the second work, we focus our attention on the role of individual reputation, an indispensable tool to guide decisions about social and economic interactions with individuals otherwise unknown. Usually, information about prospective counterparts is incomplete, often being limited to an average success rate. Uncertainty on reputation is further increased by fraud, which is increasingly becoming a cause of concern. To address these issues, we have designed an experiment where participants could spend money to have their observable cooperativeness increased. Our findings point to the importance of ensuring the truthfulness of reputation for a more cooperative and fair society.