American Economic Review: Vol. 100 No. 5 (December 2010)


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Is Reputation Good or Bad? An Experiment

Article Citation

Grosskopf, Brit, and Rajiv Sarin. 2010. "Is Reputation Good or Bad? An Experiment." American Economic Review, 100(5): 2187-2204.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.5.2187


We investigate the impact of reputation in a laboratory experiment. We do so by varying whether the past choices of a long-run player are observable by the short-run players. Our framework allows for reputation to have either a beneficial or a harmful effect on the long-run player. We find that reputation is seldom harmful and its beneficial effects are not as strong as theory suggests. When reputational concerns are at odds with other-regarding preferences, we find th latter overwhelm the former. (JEL C91, D12, D82, D83, Z13)

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Grosskopf, Brit (TX A&M U)
Sarin, Rajiv (TX A&M U)

JEL Classifications

C91: Design of Experiments: Laboratory, Individual
D12: Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D82: Asymmetric and Private Information
D83: Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification

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