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Social Reciprocity

Author

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  • Carpenter, Jeffrey P.

    (Middlebury College)

  • Matthews, Peter Hans

    (Middlebury College)

Abstract

We define social reciprocity as the act of demonstrating one's disapproval, at some personal cost, for the violation of widely-held norms (e.g., don't free ride). Social reciprocity differs from standard notions of reciprocity because social reciprocators intervene whenever a norm is violated and do not condition intervention on potential future payoffs, revenge, or altruism. Instead, we posit that social reciprocity is a triggered normative response. Our experiment confirms the existence of social reciprocity and demonstrates that more socially efficient outcomes arise when reciprocity can be expressed socially. To provide theoretical foundations for social reciprocity, we show that generalized punishment norms survive in one of the two stable equilibria of an evolutionary game with selection drift.

Suggested Citation

  • Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2004. "Social Reciprocity," IZA Discussion Papers 1347, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1347
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    reciprocity; norm; experiment; public good; learning; evolution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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