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Sequential reciprocity in two-player, two-stages games: an experimental analysis

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  • Geert Dhaene
  • Jan Bouckaert

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 behavior and first- and second-order beliefs allow us to classify each subject’s behavior as a material best response, a reciprocity best response, both, or none. We found that in both games the behavior of about 80% of the firstmovers was a material best response, a reciprocity best response, or both. The remaining 20% of first-movers almost always made choices that were “too kind” according to the theory of reciprocity. Secondmover behavior, in both games, was fully in line with the predictions of the theory. The average behavior and beliefs across subjects were 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Geert Dhaene & Jan Bouckaert, 2007. "Sequential reciprocity in two-player, two-stages games: an experimental analysis," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0717, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0717
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    Cited by:

    1. König, Clemens, 2013. "Net-Loss Reciprocation and the Context Dependency of Economic Choices," Discussion Papers in Economics 17474, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:spr:grdene:v:23:y:2014:i:5:d:10.1007_s10726-013-9370-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Bellemare, Charles & Sebald, Alexander, 2011. "Learning about a Class of Belief-Dependent Preferences without Information on Beliefs," IZA Discussion Papers 5957, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. 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.

    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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