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Committees and reciprocity

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  • Hahn, Volker
  • Mühe, Felix

Abstract

In this paper we examine the impact of reciprocal motives on decision-making in a committee. We show that each strategy profile that constitutes an equilibrium without reciprocity also represents an equilibrium under reciprocity. Under reciprocity, additional equilibria may exist. All of them imply lower material payoffs and lower overall utility for a large majority of members compared to equilibria that also represent equilibria without reciprocity. We discuss mechanisms such as incentive contracts that may eliminate the negative effects of reciprocity. In a dynamic framework we show that "psychological logrolling equilibria" may exist, where some agents perceive others as kind and therefore accept projects that are detrimental to themselves but beneficial to others.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Mathematical Social Sciences.

Volume (Year): 57 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 26-47

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Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:57:y:2009:i:1:p:26-47

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505565

Related research

Keywords: Reciprocity Committees Logrolling Voting;

References

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  12. Kiel, Alexandra & Gerling, Kerstin & Schulte, Elisabeth & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2003. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: a survey," Working Paper Series 0256, European Central Bank.
  13. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  14. Volker Hahn, 2007. "Fairness and voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 591-605, June.
  15. Segal, Uzi & Sobel, Joel, 1999. "Tit for Tat: Foundations of Preferences for Reciprocity in Strategic Settings," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt9xf8836g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  16. Fong, Christina M. & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 2006. "Strong reciprocity and the welfare state," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  17. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  18. Gachter, Simon & Falk, Armin, 2002. " Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for the Labour Relation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 1-26.
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