Emily Breza

Come Play with Me: Experimental Evidence of Information Diffusion about Rival Goods

Coauthor(s): Abhijit Banerjee, Arun Chandrasekhar, Matthew Jackson.

Abstract:
We randomly invite households to come to a pre-specified, central location in 39 villages to participate in laboratory games. Because many households that were not directly invited turned up at our experiments, we study how the information about the opportunity to earn close to one day's wage diffuses through rural Indian villages. Furthermore, because some members of some of the villages had prior experience playing similar laboratory games, we ask how experience with a task affects information-spreading and -seeking behavior. Finally, we examine possible channels for strategic information diffusion. In our environment, participant slots for non-invited households are limited, making them rival goods. Additionally, participants could potentially receive larger payoffs from playing the laboratory games with their peers. Because of these two motivations, we examine how final participation patterns may reflect strategic behavior on the part of informed households.

Exact Citation:
Banerjee, Abhijit, Emily Breza, Arun Chandrasekhar, and Matthew Jackson. "Come Play with Me: Experimental Evidence of Information Diffusion about Rival Goods." Columbia Business School, 2013.
Date: 2013