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The Effect of Motivations on Social Indirect Reciprocity: an Experimental Analysis

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  • Luca Stanca
  • Luigino Bruni
  • Marco Mantovani

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of motivations on the perceived kindness of an action within the context of strong social indirect reci- procity. We test experimentally the hypothesis that, for a given dis- tributional outcome, an action is perceived by a third party to be less kind if it can be strategically motivated. The results do not support this hypothesis: social indirect reciprocity is indeed found to be signif- icantly stronger when strategic motivations cannot be ruled out. We interpret these findings as an indication of the role played by team reasoning in explaining reciprocal behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Stanca & Luigino Bruni & Marco Mantovani, 2009. "The Effect of Motivations on Social Indirect Reciprocity: an Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 169, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:169
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Bartolomeo & Stefano Papa, 2016. "Trust and reciprocity: extensions and robustness of triadic design," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 100-115, March.
    2. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2011. "Trust, reciprocity and altruism: An impossible addition," wp.comunite 0082, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    3. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2013. "Measuring trust, reciprocity and altruism by counterfactuals," wp.comunite 0099, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    4. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2012. "The triadic design to identify trust and reciprocity: Extensions and robustness," wp.comunite 0096, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    5. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2011. "Dare per avere e dare per dare: due universi paralleli," wp.comunite 0080, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    6. Luca Stanca, 2011. "Social science and neuroscience: how can they inform each other?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 58(3), pages 243-256, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Indirect Reciprocity; Motivations; Social Preferences; Laboratory Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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