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Relative Position, Prices of Sacrifice and Reciprocity: An Experimental Study Using Individual Decisions


  • Jordi Brandts
  • Enrique Fatás
  • Francisco Lagos


We use experimental data to obtain a detailed description of individuals' pro-sociality. Participants are faced with a large number of decisions involving variations in the tradeoffs between own and others' payoffs, as well as in other potentially important factors like individuals' positions vis-à-vis others. We find that decisions are affected by payoff trade-offs in an intuitive way but also by whether individuals obtain more or less than others. We find little reciprocity of the type linked to menu-dependence. The influence of social welfare preferences is stronger than that of difference aversion; however, Leontieff preferences are not more important than difference aversion in our data.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Brandts & Enrique Fatás & Francisco Lagos, 2005. "Relative Position, Prices of Sacrifice and Reciprocity: An Experimental Study Using Individual Decisions," Working Papers 256, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:256

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    Cited by:

    1. Miller Moya, Luis Miguel & Ubeda Molla, Paloma, 2014. "The Relevance of Relative Position in Ultimatum Games," DFAEII Working Papers DFAE-II;2014-02, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.

    More about this item


    experiments; social preferences; Reciprocity; Difference Aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers


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