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

  • DHAENE, Geert
  • BOUCKAERT, Jan

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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Paper provided by University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2007026.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2007026
Contact details of provider: Postal: Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerpen
Web page: https://www.uantwerp.be/en/faculties/applied-economic-sciences/

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