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Relatives Versus Neighbors - An Experiment Studying Spontaneous Social Exchange -

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  • Werner Güth

    ()

  • Vittoria Levati

    ()

  • Georg von Wangenheim

Abstract

Social institutions regulating group conduct have been regarded as necessary for human cooperation to transcend family bonds. However, many studies in economics and biology indicate that reciprocity based on repeated interaction su_ces to establish cooperation with non-kin. We shed light on the issue by a voluntary social exchange experiment where related (via mutual shareholding) players coexist with unrelated ones. Systematically varying the degree of shared interests and the length of the time horizon, we provide evidence that repeated interactions play a crucial role in human cooperation, although humans remain attentive to relatedness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2004-33.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2004-33

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Keywords: Reciprocity; Relatedness; Social institutions; Voluntary social exchange errors;

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  1. 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.
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  10. 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.
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