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Measuring Indirect Reciprocity: Whose Back Do We Scratch?

Luca Stanca ()

No 131, Working Papers from University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper presents an experimental investigation of strong indirect reciprocity. We examine both generalized indirect reciprocity (if A helps B then B helps C) and social indirect reciprocity (if A helps B then C helps A), in a setting where reciprocal behavior cannot be explained by strategic motivations. We also consider a treatment for direct reciprocity, as a benchmark, and use a variant of the strategy method to control for di®erences in ¯rst movers' actions across treatments. We ¯nd evidence of strong reciprocity within each treatment, both for strategies and decisions. Generalized indirect reciprocity is found to be signi¯cantly stronger than social indirect reciprocity and, interestingly, direct reciprocity. This ¯nd- ing is interpreted as re°ecting the relevance of ¯rst movers' motivation for second movers' reciprocal behavior.

Keywords: Reciprocity; Experimental Economics. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C78 C91 C92 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-soc
Date: 2007-11, Revised 2007-11
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http://repec.dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper131.pdf First version, 2007 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Measuring indirect reciprocity: Whose back do we scratch? (2009) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mib:wpaper:131

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