Economics at your fingertips  

Behavioral Foundations of Reciprocity: Experimental Economics and Evolutionary Psychology

Elizabeth Hoffman (), Kevin McCabe () and Vernon Smith

Economic Inquiry, 1998, vol. 36, issue 3, 335-52

Abstract: Laboratory experiments have generally supported the theorem that, in classical property rights environments, noncooperative behavior in markets yields efficient social outcomes. Experiments, however, regularly fail to support the game theoretic prediction of noncooperative behavior in small-group strategic interaction and in large-group public good environments. In these two types of experiments, subjects frequently achieve more efficient social outcomes--they collect more money from the experimenter--than noncooperative game theory predicts. Many subjects in these experiments exhibit reciprocity even in single-play games. Evolutionary psychologists hypothesize that humans have evolved mental algorithms for identifying and punishing cheaters in social exchange. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1998
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (75) Track citations by RSS feed

There are no downloads for this item, see the EconPapers FAQ for hints about obtaining it.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this article

Economic Inquiry is currently edited by Preston McAfee

More articles in Economic Inquiry from Western Economic Association International Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Oxford University Press ().

Page updated 2019-12-04
Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:36:y:1998:i:3:p:335-52