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The Gift and the Centipede

Henrik Egbert

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper addresses the similarity between behavioural economics and social anthropology with respect to approaches on repeated reciprocity. The case at hand is the application of the Centipede game to Marcel Mauss’s concept of the Gift. In a Centipede game players interact in an alternating sequence of decisions to take or to pass an endowment. Mauss describes sequences of reciprocal giving in potlatch cultures, in which strict obligations determine choice options. The paper shows that models developed in behavioural economics, such as the Centipede game, can also be applied to prominent contexts in economic anthropology.

Keywords: Gift; Centipede game; Potlatch game; Marcel Mauss; reciprocity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-gth
Date: 2017-07-23
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Published in Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthropological and Related Sciences 1.10(2017): pp. 22-29

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:80324

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