Gift Exchange and Reciprocity in Competitive Experimental Markets
One of the outstanding results of three decades of laboratory market research is that under rather weak conditions prices and quantities in competitive experimental markets converge to the competitive equilibrium. Yet, the design of these experiments ruled out gift exchange or reciprocity motives, that is, subjects could not reciprocate for a gift. This paper reports the results of experiments which do not rule out reciprocal interactions between buyers and sellers. Sellers have the opportunity to choose quality levels which are above the levels enforceable by buyers. In principle they can, therefore, reward buyers who offer them high prices. Yet, such reciprocating behaviour lowers sellers' monetary payoff and is, hence, not subgame perfect. The data reveal that a majority of sellers behave reciprocally and that this behaviour is anticipated by buyers. As a result, buyers are willing to pay prices which are substantially above sellers' reservation prices. These results indicate that reciprocity motives may indeed be capable of driving a competitive experimental market permanently away from the competitive outcome. The data, therefore, support the gift exchange approach to the explanation of involuntary unemployment.
|Date of creation:||Sep 1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Josefstädterstr. 39, A-1080 Vienna, Austria|
Phone: ++43 - (0)1 - 599 91 - 0
Fax: ++43 - (0)1 - 599 91 - 555
Web page: http://www.ihs.ac.at
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: Institute for Advanced Studies - Library, Josefstädterstr. 39, A-1080 Vienna, Austria|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cason, Timothy N. & Williams, Arlington W., 1990. "Competitive equilibrium convergence in a posted-offer market with extreme earnings inequities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 331-352, December.
- Gary E Bolton & Rami Zuwick, 2010.
"Anonymity versus punishments in ultimatum bargaining,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
826, David K. Levine.
- Bolton Gary E. & Zwick Rami, 1995. "Anonymity versus Punishment in Ultimatum Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-121, July.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
- Ochs, Jack & Roth, Alvin E, 1989.
"An Experimental Study of Sequential Bargaining,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 355-84, June.
- George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
- Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith, 1978.
"An Experimental Examination of Two Exchange Institutions,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 133-153.
- Plott, Charles R. & Smith, Vernon L., . "An Experimental Examination of Two Exchange Institutions," Working Papers 83, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
- Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1996.
"Involuntary Unemployment and Non-compensating Wage Differentials in an Experimental Labour Market,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 106-21, January.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1996. "Involuntary unemployment and non-compensating wage differentials in an experimental labour market," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5917, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998.
"Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
344, David K. Levine.
- Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
- G. Bolton, 2010.
"A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
263, David K. Levine.
- Bolton, Gary E, 1991. "A Comparative Model of Bargaining: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1096-136, December.
- Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993.
"Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1976. "Experimental Economics: Induced Value Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 274-79, May.
- Georg Kirchsteiger, 1994.
"The role of envy in ultimatum games,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/5925, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
- Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2003.
"Insider Power, Wage Discrimination, and Fairness,"
Labor and Demography
- Guth, Werner & Tietz, Reinhard, 1990. "Ultimatum bargaining behavior : A survey and comparison of experimental results," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 417-449, September.
- Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
- Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1993. "An Economist's Perspective on the Evolution of Norms," Working papers 9323, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Kachelmeier, Steven J. & Shehata, Mohamed, 1992. "Culture and competition: A laboratory market comparison between China and the West," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-168, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Doris Szoncsitz)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.