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Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics


This paper studies the potential for ratings of seller quality to be influenced by side payments to raters. In a laboratory setting, we find that even modest side payments from sellers to raters have large effects, with the type of rating (favorable or unfavorable) given to a seller determined primarily by how large a monetary transfer the seller makes to the rater. Our results demonstrate that side payments can crowd out a rater’s concern for buyers, even in situations where there is no potential for long-term relationship building.


Ratings, Reciprocity, Punishment




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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.


Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.

JBEE_appendix.pdf (125 kB)

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