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Simple and Complex Gift Exchange in the Laboratory

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  • Heijden, E.C.M. van der
  • Nelissen, J.H.M.
  • Potters, J.J.M.
  • Verbon, H.A.A.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We examine an experimental gift exchange game in which the players can improve upon the unique no-gifts equilibrium through cooperative gift giving. The main feature of the study is that there are two different types of gift exchange, which we call simple and complex exchange, respectively. Complex exchange gives higher payoffs than simple exchange but it requires not only mutual trust, like simple exchange, but also a substantial degree of coordination. We examine whether players are able to conclude simple and complex exchanges and how this is affected by the move and matching structure of the game.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 1999-78.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:199978

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Keywords: experiments; reciprocity; trust; coordination; gift exchange;

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References

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Gachter, Simon, 1998. "Reciprocity and economics: The economic implications of Homo Reciprocans1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 845-859, May.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
  3. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  4. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
  5. Andreoni, James A & Miller, John H, 1993. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 570-85, May.
  6. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 830-51, September.
  8. Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
  9. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  10. Guth, Werner, 1995. "An Evolutionary Approach to Explaining Cooperative Behavior by Reciprocal Incentives," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 323-44.
  11. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  12. Lensberg, T. & Heijden, E.C.M. van der, 1998. "A cross-cultural study of reciprocity, trust and altruism in a gift exchange experiment," Discussion Paper 1998-77, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Simon Gächter & Ernst Fehr, . "Fairness in the Labour Market – A Survey of Experimental Results," IEW - Working Papers 114, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Potters, J.J.M. & Sefton, M. & Vesterlund, L., 2001. "Why Announce Leadership Contributions? An Experimental Study of the Signaling and Reciprocity Hypotheses," Discussion Paper 2001-100, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Heijden, E.C.M. van der & Nelissen, J.H.M. & Verbon, H.A.A., 2000. "Should the Same Side of the Market Always Move First in a Transaction? An Experimental Study," Discussion Paper 2000-103, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Jan Potters & Martin Sefton & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Leading-by-example and signaling in voluntary contribution games: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 169-182, October.
  6. Bernd Irlenbusch, 2006. "Experimental perspectives on incentives in organisations," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-24, February.
  7. Solnick, Sara J., 2007. "Cash and alternate methods of accounting in an experimental game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 316-321, February.
  8. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Sliwka, Dirk, 2005. "Transparency and reciprocal behavior in employment relations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 383-403, March.
  9. Pech, Wesley & Milan, Marcelo, 2009. "Behavioral economics and the economics of Keynes," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 891-902, December.
  10. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Sliwka, Dirk, 2003. "Career Concerns in a Simple Experimental Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 855, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Mak, Vincent & Zwick, Rami, 2009. ""Confidentially yours": Restricting information flow between trustees enhances trust-dependent transactions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 142-154, May.
  12. Johann Behrens & Hartmut Kliemt & M. Vittoria Levati & Werner Güth, 2006. "Games that Doctors Play Two-layered agency problems in a medical system," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-02, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  13. Tamás Kovács & Marc Willinger, 2010. "Is there a relation between trust and trustworthiness?," Working Papers 10-03, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Mar 2010.

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