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

  • Andreas Nicklisch
  • Irenaeus Wolff

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.

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Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 65.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0065
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  10. James Andreoni & Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "What Do Bargainers' Preferences Look Like? Experiments with a Convex Ultimatum Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 672-685, June.
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  15. Jim C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2005. "Revealed Altruism," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000595, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. W. Guth & R. Schmittberger & B. Schwartz, 2010. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 291, David K. Levine.
  17. James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2005. "On the Nature of Reciprocal Motives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 623-635, July.
  18. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  19. Engelmann Dirk & Strobel Martin, 2002. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  20. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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