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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. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1990. "Evolutionary Stability In Repeated Games Played By Finite Automata," Working papers 90-29, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Lorne Carmichael, 1983. "Firm-Specific Human Capital and Promotion Ladders," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 251-258, Spring.
  3. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Karl H. Schlag, 1994. "When Does Evolution Lead to Efficiency in Communication Games?," Discussion Paper Serie B 299, University of Bonn, Germany.
  7. 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.
  8. van Damme, Eric, 1989. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 476-496, August.
  9. 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.
  10. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-80, March.
  11. 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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  13. Blume Andreas & Kim Yong-Gwan & Sobel Joel, 1993. "Evolutionary Stability in Games of Communication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 547-575, October.
  14. 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.
  15. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, octubre-d.
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  17. Robson, A.J., 1989. "Efficiency In Evolutionary Games: Darwin, Nash And Secret Handshake," Papers 89-22, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
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