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Measuring Indirect Reciprocity: Whose Back Do We Scratch?

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  • Luca Stanca

Abstract

This paper presents an experimental investigation of strong indirect reciprocity. We examine both generalized indirect reciprocity (if A helps B then B helps C) and social indirect reciprocity (if A helps B then C helps A), in a setting where reciprocal behavior cannot be explained by strategic motivations. We also consider a treatment for direct reciprocity, as a benchmark, and use a variant of the strategy method to control for di®erences in ¯rst movers' actions across treatments. We ¯nd evidence of strong reciprocity within each treatment, both for strategies and decisions. Generalized indirect reciprocity is found to be signi¯cantly stronger than social indirect reciprocity and, interestingly, direct reciprocity. This ¯nd- ing is interpreted as re°ecting the relevance of ¯rst movers' motivation for second movers' reciprocal behavior.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper131.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 131.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision: Nov 2007
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:131

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Keywords: Reciprocity; Experimental Economics.;

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References

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  7. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  8. Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena & Ockenfels, Axel, 2005. "Cooperation among strangers with limited information about reputation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1457-1468, August.
  9. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Matthews, 2002. "Social Reciprocity," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0229, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  10. Ben Greiner & Maria Vittoria Levati, 2003. "Indirect Reciprocity in Cyclical Networks - An Experimental Study -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-15, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  11. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  13. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  14. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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  16. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1998. "The Evolution of Strong Reciprocity," Research in Economics 98-08-073e, Santa Fe Institute.
  17. Seinen, Ingrid & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Social status and group norms: Indirect reciprocity in a repeated helping experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 581-602, April.
  18. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  19. repec:wop:humbsf:2000-110 is not listed on IDEAS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Liang, Pinghan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2013. "Love me, love my dog: an experimental study on social connections and indirect reciprocity," MPRA Paper 45270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Sven Fischer & Werner Güth, 2011. "Effects of exclusion on social preferences," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_34, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  4. Petrie, Ragan & Jacobson, Sarah, 2013. "Favor Trading in Public Good Provision," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. Fischer, Sven & Güth, Werner, 2012. "Effects of exclusion on acceptance in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1100-1114.
  6. 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.
  7. Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2014. "Strategic Trustworthiness via Unstrategic Third-party Reward – An Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2014_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  8. Sven Fischer & Werner Güth, 2011. "Effects of exclusion on social preferences," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-053, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  9. 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.

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