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Testing Theories of Reciprocity: Do Motivations Matter?

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Author Info

  • Luca Stanca

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

  • Luigino Bruni

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

  • Luca Corazzini

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

Abstract

One of the key issues for understanding reciprocity is how people evaluate the kindness of an action. In this paper we argue that the motivation driving an action plays an important role for the reciprocating response to that action. We test experimentally the hypothesis that reciprocal behavior is stronger in response to actions driven by intrinsic motivation, as opposed to extrinsic motivation. Our results indicate that reciprocity is significantly stronger when extrinsic motivation can be ruled out, both at the aggregate and the individual level. These findings suggest that models of reciprocal behavior should take into account not only outcomes but also intentions and, in particular, motivations: the type of motivation of an action matters for its perceived kindness and, as a consequence, for reciprocity.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper109.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 109.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision: 2007
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:109

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Keywords: Reciprocity; Intrinsic Motivation; Laboratory Experiments;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2013. "Measuring trust, reciprocity and altruism by counterfactuals," wp.comunite 0099, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  2. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A preference-Based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  3. Johnsen, Åshild A & Kvaløy, Ola, 2014. "You always meet twice: An experiment on intrinsic versus instrumental reciprocity," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014/2, University of Stavanger.
  4. Bhirombhakdi, Kornpob, 2011. "Performance of a reciprocity model in predicting a positive reciprocity decision," MPRA Paper 37468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2011. "Dare per avere e dare per dare: due universi paralleli," wp.comunite 0080, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  6. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2012. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: Substitutes or Complements?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 368-425, June.
  7. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2012. "The triadic design to identify trust and reciprocity: Extensions and robustness," wp.comunite 0096, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  8. Luca Stanca, 2011. "Social science and neuroscience: how can they inform each other?," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 243-256, September.
  9. Luca Stanca & Luigino Bruni & Marco Mantovani, 2011. "The effect of motivations on social indirect reciprocity: an experimental analysis," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(17), pages 1709-1711.
  10. Bhirombhakdi, Kornpob & Potipiti, Tanapong, 2012. "Cost of action, perceived intention, positive reciprocity, and signalling model," MPRA Paper 37469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A Preference-based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2734, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Schubert, Manuel, 2012. "Deeds rather than omissions: How intended consequences provoke negative reciprocity," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-65-12, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
  13. Herne, Kaisa & Lappalainen, Olli & Kestilä-Kekkonen, Elina, 2013. "Experimental comparison of direct, general, and indirect reciprocity," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 38-46.
  14. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano & Bellomo Saverio, 2012. "Yoga beyond wellness: Meditation, trust and cooperation," wp.comunite 0095, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  15. Bruno, Bruna, 2012. "Reconciling economics and psychology on intrinsic motivation," MPRA Paper 42717, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Hong Lin & David Ong, 2011. "Separating Gratitude from Guilt in the Laboratory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000309, David K. Levine.
  17. Bruno, Bruna, 2011. "Rewarding my Self. Self Esteem, Self Determination and Motivations," MPRA Paper 32218, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2011. "Trust, reciprocity and altruism: An impossible addition," wp.comunite 0082, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  19. Bruno, B., 2010. "Rewarding my Self. The role of Self Esteem and Self Determination in Motivation Crowding Theory," MPRA Paper 23117, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2011. "Economic incentives and social preferences: substitutes or complements?," Department of Economics University of Siena 617, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  21. Giuseppe Attanasi & Pierpaolo Battigalli & Rosemarie Nagel, 2013. "Disclosure of Belief-Dependent Preferences in a Trust Game," Working Papers 506, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.

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