Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for the Labour Relation
Simon Gächter () and
Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2002, vol. 104, issue 1, 1-26
Recent evidence highlights the importance of social norms in many economic relations. However, many of these relationships are long term and provide repeated game incentives for performance. We experimentally investigate interaction effects of reciprocity and repeated game incentives in two treatments (one-shot and repeated) of a gift-exchange game. In both treatments we observe reciprocity, which is strengthened in the repeated game. A detailed analysis shows that, in the repeated game, some subjects imitate reciprocity. Thus, reciprocity and repeated game incentives reinforce each other. Observed behavior is robust against experience. We conclude that long-term interaction is a "reciprocity-compatible" contract enforcement device. Copyright 2002 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.
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