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Simple and Complex Gift Exchange in the Laboratory

  • van der Heijden, Eline C M, et al

We examine an experimental gift exchange game in which the players can improve on the unique no-gifts equilibrium by two different types of gift exchange: simple and complex exchange, respectively. Complex exchange gives higher payoffs than simple exchange, but it requires not only mutual trust, like with simple exchange, but also a substantial degree of coordination. We examine whether players are able to conclude simple and complex exchanges and how this is affected by the move and matching structure of the game. We find that the so-called partners treatment is a precondition for the occurrence of complex exchange. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 39 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 280-97

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:39:y:2001:i:2:p:280-97
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  1. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  2. repec:att:wimass:9102 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Andreoni, James A & Miller, John H, 1993. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 570-85, May.
  4. Burlando, Roberto & Hey, John D., 1997. "Do Anglo-Saxons free-ride more?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 41-60, April.
  5. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  7. Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 830-51, September.
  8. Lensberg, T. & van der Heijden, E.C.M., 1998. "A cross-cultural study of reciprocity, trust and altruism in a gift exchange experiment," Discussion Paper 1998-77, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
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