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Luis Carlos Reyes
''Reciprocity in a social network: evidence from a natural field experiment''
( 2018, Vol. 38 No.2 )
I use a natural field experiment to test for the presence of reciprocity in the context of a social network. Over the course of a year, I randomly sent birthday greetings to the online friends of a Facebook user. I find that sending a birthday greeting to a Facebook friend causes an increase of 50 percent in the probability that the friend will reciprocate when the birthday of the sender arrives. I also find that the tendency to reciprocate is decreasing in time. The likelihood that a birthday congratulation will be reciprocated increases by almost three times as much when the birthday of the sender is one month away than when it is six months away.
Keywords: Reciprocity, networks, Facebook, natural field experiments
JEL: Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology: General
D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty: General
Manuscript Received : Apr 09 2018 Manuscript Accepted : Apr 09 2018

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