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Gift Giving and the Evolution of Cooperation

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  • Carmichael, H Lorne
  • MacLeod, W Bentley

Abstract

Gift giving is a practice common to many societies. In an evolutionary model, the social custom of giving gifts at the beginning of a relationship can lead to trust and cooperation. The evolutionary approach makes predictions about the character of the goods that can be used as gifts. For example, gift goods may have little use value even at low levels of consumption. Although the gifts themselves are useless, the institution is not. Copyright 1997 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 38 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 485-509

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:38:y:1997:i:3:p:485-509

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  1. van Damme,Eric, 1987. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Discussion Paper Serie A 128, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1991. "Evolutionary Stability in Repeated games Played by Finite Automata," Papers 90-17, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  3. Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1992. "Evolutionary stability in repeated games played by finite automata," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 278-305, August.
  4. Blume, A. & Kim, Y.G. & Sobel, J., 1993. "Evolutionary Stability in Games of Communication," Working Papers 93-07, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  5. Matsui, Akihiko, 1991. "Cheap-talk and cooperation in a society," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 245-258, August.
  6. Robson, A.J., 1989. "Efficiency In Evolutionary Games: Darwin, Nash And Secret Handshake," Papers 89-22, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  7. Karl H. Schlag, 1994. "When Does Evolution Lead to Efficiency in Communication Games?," Discussion Paper Serie B 299, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  9. Akihiko Matsui, 1989. "Cheap Talk and Cooperation in the Society," Discussion Papers 848, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, May.
  11. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1989. "Self-Enforcing Contracts, Shirking, and Life Cycle Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 65-83, Fall.
  12. Damme, E.E.C. van, 1989. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-154422, Tilburg University.
  13. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1990. "Evolution and Cooperation in Noisy Repeated Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 274-79, May.
  14. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  15. W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  16. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
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