How Robust is Laboratory Gift Exchange?

20 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2001

See all articles by Gary Charness

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics

Guillaume R. Frechette

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

John H. Kagel

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics

Date Written: October 8, 2001

Abstract

The gift-exchange game is a form of sequential prisoner's dilemma, developed by Fehr, Kirchsteiger, and Riedl (1993), and popularized in a series of papers by Ernst Fehr and co-authors. While the European studies typically feature a high degree of gift exchange, the few U.S. studies provide some conflicting results. We find that the degree of gift exchange is surprisingly sensitive to an apparently innocuous change - whether or not a comprehensive payoff table is provided in the instructions. We also find significant and substantial time trends in responder behavior, suggesting that behavior in our game is sensitive to strategic considerations.

Keywords: Gift-exchange, Strategic Motivation, Experiment

JEL Classification: A13, B49, C91, C92, J31

Suggested Citation

Charness, Gary and Frechette, Guillaume R. and Kagel, John H., How Robust is Laboratory Gift Exchange? (October 8, 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=292854 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.292854

Gary Charness (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
805-893-2412 (Phone)
805-893-8830 (Fax)

Guillaume R. Frechette

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

19 West Fourth St., 6th floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://files.nyu.edu/gf35/public/html/econ.htm

John H. Kagel

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

1945 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43210-1172
United States

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