The Effect of Motivations on Social Indirect Reciprocity: An Experimental Analysis
Posted: 12 Sep 2012
Date Written: August 1, 2009
This paper investigates the effects of motivations on the perceived kindness of an action within the context of strong social indirect reciprocity. We test experimentally the hypothesis that, for a given distributional outcome, an action is perceived by a third party to be less kind if it can be strategically motivated. The results do not support this hypothesis: social indirect reciprocity is indeed found to be significantly stronger when strategic motivations cannot be ruled out. We interpret these findings as an indication of the role played by team reasoning in explaining reciprocal behavior.
Keywords: Indirect Reciprocity, Motivations, Social Preferences, Laboratory Experiments
JEL Classification: D63, C78, C91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation