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Group Reciprocity


  • David Hugh-Jones

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

  • Martin A. Leroch

    () (University of Hamburg)


People exhibit group reciprocity when they retaliate, not against the person who harmed them, but against somebody else in that person's group. Group reciprocity may be a key motivation behind intergroup conflict. We investigated group reciprocity in a laboratory experiment. After a group identity manipulation, subjects played a Prisoner's Dilemma with others from different groups. Subjects then allocated money between themselves and others, learning the group of the others. Subjects who knew that their partner in the Prisoner's Dilemma had defected became relatively less generous to people from the partner's group, compared to a third group. We use our experiment to develop hypotheses about group reciprocity and its correlates.

Suggested Citation

  • David Hugh-Jones & Martin A. Leroch, 2010. "Group Reciprocity," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-066, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-066

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2008. "Social ties and coordination on negative reciprocity: The role of affect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 34-53, February.
    2. Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone & Matteo Ploner, 2009. "Group Membership, Team Preferences, and Expectations (A new version of this paper is available as CEEL WP 3-12)," CEEL Working Papers 0906, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    3. Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap & Daniel John Zizzo, 2009. "The Value of Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 295-323, March.
    4. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-457, March.
    5. repec:dgr:uvatin:20040098 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gary Bornstein, 2002. "Intergroup conflict: Individual, group and collective interests," Discussion Paper Series dp297, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alejandro T. Moreno-Okuno & Alejandro Mosiño, 2017. "A theory of sequential group reciprocity," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 26(1), pages 1-19, December.

    More about this item


    reciprocity; groups; conflict;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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