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On the Nature of Reciprocity: Evidence from the Ultimatum Reciprocity Measure

Author

Listed:
  • Andreas Nicklisch
  • Irenaeus Wolff

Abstract

We experimentally show that current models of reciprocity are in- complete in a systematic way using a new variant of the ultimatum game that provides second-movers with a marginal-cost-free punish- ment option. For a substantial proportion of the population, the de- gree of rst-mover unkindness determines the severity of punishment actions even when marginal costs are absent. The proportion of these subjects strongly depends on a treatment variation: higher xed costs of punishment lead to harsher responses. The fractions of purely self- ish and inequity-averse participants are small and stable. Among the variety of reciprocity models, only one accommodates (rather than predicts) parts of our ndings. The treatment e ect is unaccounted for. We discuss ways of incorporating our ndings into the existing models.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Nicklisch & Irenaeus Wolff, 2011. "On the Nature of Reciprocity: Evidence from the Ultimatum Reciprocity Measure," TWI Research Paper Series 65, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0065
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Güth, Werner & Kocher, Martin G., 2014. "More than thirty years of ultimatum bargaining experiments: Motives, variations, and a survey of the recent literature," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 396-409.
    2. Irenaeus Wolff, 2013. "When best-replies are not in equilibrium: understanding cooperative behaviour," TWI Research Paper Series 88, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Distributional fairness; experiments; intention-based fair- ness; reciprocity; ultimatum bargaining;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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