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Homo Reciprocans: Survey Evidence on Behavioural Outcomes

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  • Thomas Dohmen
  • Armin Falk
  • David Huffman
  • Uwe Sunde

Abstract

This article complements the experimental literature that has shown the importance of reciprocity for behaviour in stylised labour markets or other decision settings. We use individual measures of reciprocal inclinations in a large, representative survey and relate reciprocity to real world labour market behaviour and life outcomes. We find that reciprocity matters and that the way in which it matters is very much in line with the experimental evidence. In particular, positive reciprocity is associated with receiving higher wages and working harder. Negatively reciprocal inclinations tend to reduce effort. Negative reciprocity increases the likelihood of being unemployed.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Homo Reciprocans: Survey Evidence on Behavioural Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 592-612, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:536:p:592-612
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2008.02242.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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