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Reciprocity in Ranked Relationships: Does Social Structure Influence Social Reasoning?

  • Laurence Fiddick

    ()

  • Denise Cummins

    ()

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    Many economic and evolutionary theories have modeled cooperation as the evolutionary outcome of decisions made by autonomous, self-interested agents operating in a social vacuum. In this paper we consider the implications for cooperative interactions when prior social structures and corresponding social norms exist. In particular we investigate the influence of social rank/status on perceptions of fairness and tolerance of cheating. We review evidence from a series of experiments employing the Wason selection task (a test of conditional reasoning) and the ledger task (a decision making task) suggesting that people cued to adopt a perspective of high social rank are more tolerant of cheating and simultaneously believe that they have been more fairly treated (even when cheated) than people cued to adopt a perspective of low social rank. However, the evidence also suggests interesting cross-cultural differences in perceptions of fairness and tolerance of cheating in ranked relationships. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1020572212265
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Bioeconomics.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 149-170

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:3:y:2001:i:2:p:149-170
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    1. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    2. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
    3. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon G├Ąchter, 1997. "Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Fehr, Ernst & Gachter, Simon, 1998. "Reciprocity and economics: The economic implications of Homo Reciprocans1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 845-859, May.
    5. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Guth, Werner, 1995. "An Evolutionary Approach to Explaining Cooperative Behavior by Reciprocal Incentives," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 323-44.
    7. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin A & Smith, Vernon L, 1998. "Behavioral Foundations of Reciprocity: Experimental Economics and Evolutionary Psychology," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 335-52, July.
    8. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
    9. Ben-Ner, Avner & Putterman, Louis, 2000. "On some implications of evolutionary psychology for the study of preferences and institutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-99, September.
    10. Johannesson, Magnus & Persson, Bjorn, 2000. "Non-reciprocal altruism in dictator games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 137-142, November.
    11. Cosmides, Leda & Tooby, John, 1994. "Better than Rational: Evolutionary Psychology and the Invisible Hand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 327-32, May.
    12. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    13. Joseph Henrich, 2000. "Does Culture Matter in Economic Behavior? Ultimatum Game Bargaining among the Machiguenga of the Peruvian Amazon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 973-979, September.
    14. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
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