Cooperation and Reciprocity: a Theoretical Approach
AbstractCooperation among genetically unrelated agents occurs in many situations where economic theory would not expect it. A too narrow conception of self-interest is widely considered the culprit. In particular, relying on experimental evidence in plenty, we consider strong reciprocity rules of behaviour, according to which it is worth bearing the cost of punishing those who defect, and we give analytical foundation to such behaviour â€“ and more generally to cooperation-proneness. The basic idea is that most agents may include self-esteem in their utility function and actually produce or destroy self-esteem through their effective behaviour. The latter amounts to introducing a moral system in individual behaviour in such a way to make it amenable to rational maximization. We also show how the presence of cooperation-prone agents may impact on the best contract in Principal-Agents situations by altering the convenience of gift giving and trust.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics in its series Working Papers with number 91.
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
agency; altruism; self-interest; punishment; reciprocity.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997.
"Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
- Marcello Basili & Cristina Duranti & Maurizio Franzini, 2004. "Networks, Trust and Institutional Complementarities," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(1), pages 159-180, January-F.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Luisa Giuriato).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.