DP13417 Does pre-play social interaction improve negotiation outcomes?

Author(s): Pablo Brañas-Garza, Antonio Cabrales, Guillermo Mateu, Angel Sánchez, Angela Sutan
Publication Date: December 2018
Date Revised: December 2018
Keyword(s): business meals, negotiation, Social interactions, Trust
JEL(s): C91, I18, M11
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Public Economics, Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13417

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 nonalcoholic. 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.