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Measuring indirect reciprocity: Whose back do we scratch?

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  • Stanca, Luca

Abstract

This paper presents an experimental investigation of strong indirect reciprocity. We examine both generalized indirect reciprocity (if A helps B then B helps C) and social indirect reciprocity (if A helps B then C helps A) in a setting where reciprocal behavior cannot be explained by strategic motivations, using a treatment for direct reciprocity as a benchmark. We use a variant of the strategy method to control for differences in first movers' actions across treatments. We find evidence of strong reciprocity within each treatment, for both strategies and decisions. Generalized indirect reciprocity is found to be significantly stronger than social indirect reciprocity and, interestingly, than direct reciprocity. This finding is interpreted as reflecting the relevance of first movers' motivation for second movers' reciprocal behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 190-202

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:2:p:190-202

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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Keywords: Reciprocity Cooperation Microeconomic behavior Experimental economics;

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  17. Luca Stanca, Luigino Bruni, Luca Corazzini, 2007. "Testing Theories of Reciprocity: Does Motivation Matter?," ISLA Working Papers 29, ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Luca Stanca & Luigino Bruni & Marco Mantovani, 2009. "The Effect of Motivations on Social Indirect Reciprocity: an Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 169, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
  2. Sven Fischer & Werner Güth, 2011. "Effects of exclusion on social preferences," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_34, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  3. Sarah Jacobson & Ragan Petrie, 2010. "Favor Trading in Public Good Provision," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-19, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Apr 2013.
  4. Luca Stanca, 2011. "Social science and neuroscience: how can they inform each other?," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 243-256, September.
  5. Liang, Pinghan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2013. "Love me, love my dog: an experimental study on social connections and indirect reciprocity," MPRA Paper 45270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Fischer, Sven & Güth, Werner, 2012. "Effects of exclusion on acceptance in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1100-1114.
  7. Herne, Kaisa & Lappalainen, Olli & Kestilä-Kekkonen, Elina, 2013. "Experimental comparison of direct, general, and indirect reciprocity," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 38-46.
  8. Sven Fischer & Werner Güth, 2011. "Effects of exclusion on social preferences," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-053, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  9. Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2014. "Strategic Trustworthiness via Unstrategic Third-party Reward – An Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2014_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

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