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Sequential reciprocity in two-player, two-stage games: An experimental analysis

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  • DHAENE, Geert
  • BOUCKAERT, Jan

Abstract

We experimentally test Dufwenberg and Kirchsteiger’s (2004) theory of sequential reciprocity in a sequential prisoner’s dilemma (SPD) and a mini-ultimatum game (MUG). Data on subjects’ behavior and firstand second-order beliefs allow us to classify their behavior as a material best response, a reciprocity best response, both, or none. In both games, about 80% of the first-movers’ behavior is a material best response, a reciprocity best response, or both. The remaining 20% of first-movers almost always make choices that are “too kind” according to the theory of reciprocity. Second-movers’ behavior, in both games, is fully in line with the predictions of the theory. Average behavior and beliefs, across subjects, are found to be compatible with a sequential reciprocity equilibrium in the SPD, but not in the MUG. We also found first- and second-order beliefs to be unbiased in the SPD, and nearly unbiased in the MUG, with the exception that first-movers in the MUG significantly overestimated the second-mover’s rejection rate of unequal offers.

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  • DHAENE, Geert & BOUCKAERT, Jan, 2007. "Sequential reciprocity in two-player, two-stage games: An experimental analysis," Working Papers 2007026, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2007026
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    Cited by:

    1. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Koch, Alexander K. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2014. "Preferences and beliefs in a sequential social dilemma: a within-subjects analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 122-135.
    2. König, Clemens, 2013. "Net-Loss Reciprocation and the Context Dependency of Economic Choices," Discussion Papers in Economics 17474, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Charles Bellemare & Alexander Sebald, 2011. "Learning about a Class of Belief-Dependent Preferences without Information on Beliefs," Cahiers de recherche 1125, CIRPEE.
    4. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine & van Soest, Arthur, 2011. "Preferences, intentions, and expectation violations: A large-scale experiment with a representative subject pool," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 349-365, May.
    5. Dang, Jr-Fong & Hong, I-Hsuan, 2013. "The equilibrium quantity and production strategy in a fuzzy random decision environment: Game approach and case study in glass substrates industries," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 724-732.
    6. repec:spr:grdene:v:23:y:2014:i:5:d:10.1007_s10726-013-9370-6 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sequential reciprocity; Sequential prisoner’s dilemma; Mini-ultimatum game;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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