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Deeds rather than omissions: How intended consequences provoke negative reciprocity

  • Schubert, Manuel

Intention-based models of reciprocity argue that people assess kindness by measuring the intended consequences of actual behavior (deeds) against foregone payoffs resulting from unchosen alternatives (omissions). While the effects of omissions have been intensively studied in recent years, less has been done with respect to the impact of deeds on reciprocation. I employ a novel game that alters the intended consequences behind actual behavior at constant levels of unchosen alternatives and realized payoffs. Aggregate results suggest that intended consequences only weakly matter for negative reciprocity. I find men to abstain from retaliation when others intend to mildly harm them. Women, however, seem to be largely invariant to intended consequences of actual behavior.

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Paper provided by University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics in its series Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe with number V-65-12.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:upadvr:v6512
Contact details of provider: Postal: 94030 Passau
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  1. Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Schubert, Manuel & Graf Lambsdorff, Johann, 2012. "On the costs of kindness: An experimental investigation of guilty minds and negative reciprocity," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-64-12, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
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