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Does pre-play social interaction improve negotiation outcomes?

Brañas-Garza, Pablo and Cabrales, Antonio and Mateu, Guillermo and Sanchez, Angel and Sutan, Angela (2018): Does pre-play social interaction improve negotiation outcomes?

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Abstract

We study experimentally the impact of pre-play social interactions on negotiations. These interactions are often complex. Thus, we attempt to isolate the impact of several of its more common components: conversations, food, and beverages, which could be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. To do this, our subjects take part in a standardized negotiation (complex and simple) under six conditions: without interaction, interaction only, and interactions with water, wine, water and food and wine and food. We find that none of the treatments improve the outcomes over the treatment without interactions. We also study trust and reciprocity in the same context. For all-male groups, we find the same lack of superiority of interaction treatments over no interaction. For all-female groups, some very simple social interactions have a positive impact on trust.

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