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Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for the Labour Relation

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  • Gachter, Simon
  • Falk, Armin

Abstract

Recent evidence highlights the importance of social norms in many economic relations. However, many of these relationships are long term and provide repeated game incentives for performance. We experimentally investigate interaction effects of reciprocity and repeated game incentives in two treatments (one-shot and repeated) of a gift-exchange game. In both treatments we observe reciprocity, which is strengthened in the repeated game. A detailed analysis shows that, in the repeated game, some subjects imitate reciprocity. Thus, reciprocity and repeated game incentives reinforce each other. Observed behavior is robust against experience. We conclude that long-term interaction is a "reciprocity-compatible" contract enforcement device. Copyright 2002 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 104 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-26

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:104:y:2002:i:1:p:1-26

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  1. Croson, Rachel T. A., 1996. "Partners and strangers revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 25-32, October.
  2. Agell, Jonas, 1999. "On the Benefits from Rigid Labour Markets: Norms, Market Failures, and Social Insurance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F143-64, February.
  3. Benoit, Jean-Pierre & Krishna, Vijay, 1985. "Finitely Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 905-22, July.
  4. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  5. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1993. "Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Working Paper Series 380, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Abbink, Klaus & Bernd Irlenbusch & Elke Renner, 1997. "The Moonlighting Game - An Experimental Study on Reciprocity and Retribution," Discussion Paper Serie B 415, University of Bonn, Germany.
  7. Cooper, R. & DeJong, D.W. & Ross, T.W., 1992. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Papers 36, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  8. Clark, Kenneth & Sefton, Martin, 2001. "The Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma: Evidence on Reciprocation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 51-68, January.
  9. James Andreoni & John H Miller, 1997. "Rational Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma: experimental evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 670, David K. Levine.
  10. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  11. Friedel Bolle, 1998. "Rewarding Trust: An Experimental Study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 83-98, August.
  12. Rachel T. A. Croson, 2007. "Theories Of Commitment, Altruism And Reciprocity: Evidence From Linear Public Goods Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(2), pages 199-216, 04.
  13. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
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