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An Evolutionary Model of Reciprocity


  • Basov, S.


Despite the pervasiveness of reciprocal behavior, it has received little attention in the economic literature. In this paper, I consider an evolutionary model of reciprocity. The main findings of this paper are that evolution can support reciprocal behavior for the fraction of population, which is insensitive to the stakes involved, but is sensitive to the cohesiveness of the relationships. These findings match stylized facts learned from experimental and field studies of reciprocity.

Suggested Citation

  • Basov, S., 2001. "An Evolutionary Model of Reciprocity," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 812, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:812

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    2. Schlag, Karl H., 1999. "Which one should I imitate?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 493-522, May.
    3. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
    4. Valentina Corradi & Rajiv Sarin, "undated". "Continuous Approximations of Stochastic Evolutionary Game Dynamics," ELSE working papers 002, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
    5. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    6. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    7. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    8. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2003. "Understanding reciprocity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-27, January.
    9. Fudenberg, D. & Harris, C., 1992. "Evolutionary dynamics with aggregate shocks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 420-441, August.
    10. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
    11. Simon P. Anderson & Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 1999. "Stochastic Game Theory: Adjustment to Equilibrium Under Noisy Directional Learning," Virginia Economics Online Papers 327, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    12. Schlag, Karl H., 1998. "Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
    13. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2001. "Preference Evolution and Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 273-297, April.
    14. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, "undated". "Do Incentive Contracts Crowd out Voluntary Cooperation?," IEW - Working Papers 034, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    15. Corradi, Valentina & Sarin, Rajiv, 2000. "Continuous Approximations of Stochastic Evolutionary Game Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 163-191, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Suren Basov, 2002. "Evolution of Social Behavior in the Global Economy: The Replicator Dynamics with Migration," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 847, The University of Melbourne.

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    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement


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