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Relatives Versus Neighbors - An Experiment Studying Spontaneous Social Exchange -

  • Werner Güth

    ()

  • Vittoria Levati

    ()

  • Georg von Wangenheim

Social institutions regulating group conduct have been regarded as necessary for human cooperation to transcend family bonds. However, many studies in economics and biology indicate that reciprocity based on repeated interaction su_ces to establish cooperation with non-kin. We shed light on the issue by a voluntary social exchange experiment where related (via mutual shareholding) players coexist with unrelated ones. Systematically varying the degree of shared interests and the length of the time horizon, we provide evidence that repeated interactions play a crucial role in human cooperation, although humans remain attentive to relatedness.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2004-33.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2004-33
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  1. Gachter, Simon & Falk, Armin, 2002. " Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for the Labour Relation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 1-26.
  2. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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  5. S. K. Berninghaus & Werner Gueth & Katinka Pantz & Bodo Vogt, 2004. "Evolution of Spontaneous Social Exchange - An Experimental Study -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-17, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  6. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2002. "Evolution of Social Behavior: Individual and Group Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 67-88, Spring.
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  8. Fehr, Ernst & Henrich, Joseph, 2003. "Is Strong Reciprocity a Maladaptation? On the Evolutionary Foundations of Human Altruism," IZA Discussion Papers 712, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gächter, 2003. "Strong Reciprocity, Human Cooperation and the Enforcement of Social Norms," Microeconomics 0305008, EconWPA.
  10. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
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  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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