Role-reversal consistency: An experimental study of the Golden Rule

Miguel A. Costa-Gomes*, Yuan Ju, Jiawen Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We report an experiment that asks whether people in a strategic situation behave according to the Golden Rule, that is, do not treat others in ways that they find disagreeable to themselves, a property that we call role‐reversal consistency. Overall, we find that over three quarters of the subjects are role‐reversal consistent. Regression analysis suggests that this finding is not driven by players maximizing their subjective expected monetary earnings given their stated beliefs about their opponents' behavior. We find that subjects' stated beliefs and actions reveal mild projection bias.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-704
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number1
Early online date31 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • role-reversal consistency
  • The Golden Rule
  • projection bias
  • elicited beliefs


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