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Social Reciprocity

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  • Carpenter, Jeffrey P.

    ()
    (Middlebury College)

  • Matthews, Peter Hans

    ()
    (Middlebury College)

Abstract

We define social reciprocity as the act of demonstrating one's disapproval, at some personal cost, for the violation of widely-held norms (e.g., don't free ride). Social reciprocity differs from standard notions of reciprocity because social reciprocators intervene whenever a norm is violated and do not condition intervention on potential future payoffs, revenge, or altruism. Instead, we posit that social reciprocity is a triggered normative response. Our experiment confirms the existence of social reciprocity and demonstrates that more socially efficient outcomes arise when reciprocity can be expressed socially. To provide theoretical foundations for social reciprocity, we show that generalized punishment norms survive in one of the two stable equilibria of an evolutionary game with selection drift.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1347.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1347

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Keywords: reciprocity; norm; experiment; public good; learning; evolution;

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References

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  1. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 2006. "Mutual Monitoring in Teams: Theory and Experimental Evidence on the Importance of Reciprocity," IZA Discussion Papers 2106, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  3. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews, 2003. "No Switchbacks: Rethinking Aspiration-Based Dynamics in the Ultimatum Game," Middlebury College Working Paper Series, Middlebury College, Department of Economics 0218r, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  4. Martin Sefton & Robert S. Shupp & James Walker, 2005. "The Effect of Rewards and Sanctions in Provision of Public Goods," Working Papers, Ball State University, Department of Economics 200504, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2005.
  5. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2003. "Understanding reciprocity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-27, January.
  6. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
  7. Gueth, W. & Kliemt, H., 1993. "Competition or Co-Operation," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1993-39, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Sethi, Rajiv, 1996. "Evolutionary stability and social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 113-140, January.
  9. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1997. "Evolutionary Drift and Equilibrium Selection," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 9729r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  11. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
  12. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1998. "Mutual Monitoring in Teams: The Effects of Residual Claimancy and Reciprocity," Research in Economics, Santa Fe Institute 98-08-074e, Santa Fe Institute.
  13. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  14. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L. & Gale, J., 1993. "Learning to be Imperfect: The Ultimatum Game," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 9325, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  15. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  16. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1993. "An Economist's Perspective on the Evolution of Norms," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 9323, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  17. Ghemawat, Pankaj, 1995. "Competitive Advantage and Internal Organization: Nucor Revisited," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(4), pages 685-717, Winter.
  18. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000. "The Evolution of Strong Reciprocity," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics 2000-05, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  19. Binmore, Ken & Samuelson, Larry, 1999. "Evolutionary Drift and Equilibrium Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 363-93, April.
  20. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
  21. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
  22. Nachbar, J H, 1990. ""Evolutionary" Selection Dynamics in Games: Convergence and Limit Properties," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 59-89.
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