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Measuring Motivations for the Reciprocal Responses Observed in a Simple Dilemma Game

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  • Gary Bolton
  • Jordi Brandts
  • Axel Ockenfels

Abstract

A reciprocal action is an action meant to have a similar influence on another's payoff as another's action has on one's own. One hypothesis asserts that reciprocal action is triggered by the reciprocator's belief that another's action was good or ill intended. The other hypothesis says that the reciprocator is simply acting to implement fixed preferences over payoff allocations. We report on an experiment that allows us to study both positive (reward) and negative (punishment) reciprocal action in a single framework. Knowing the preferences for payoff allocations is sufficient to account for nearly all the reciprocal action we observe in our experiment. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 1998. "Measuring Motivations for the Reciprocal Responses Observed in a Simple Dilemma Game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(3), pages 207-219, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:1:y:1998:i:3:p:207-219
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1009951108693
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    experimental economics; reciprocity; motivations; dilemma game;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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