Contrary to the predictions of non-cooperative game theory, trust and reciprocity are commonly reported in simple games. We conduct a one-shot investment game to examine how social distance affects behavior in two-person exchanges. Two aspects of social distance are examined: ex post revelation of complete information on the second player’s choice set and ex post revelation of information regarding the second player’s identity. The results indicate that reciprocity is not affected by knowledge of the choice set, but depends critically on the possible revelation of the decision maker’s identity. That is, the possibility that the second player’s identity (picture) is revealed to his/her counterpart has a profound effect on the degree of reciprocity extended.
Ackert, Lucy; Church, Bryan; and Davis, Shawn, "Social Distance and Reciprocity" (2006). ExCEN Working Papers. 150.