Social Reciprocity

51 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2004

See all articles by Peter Hans Matthews

Peter Hans Matthews

Middlebury College - Department of Economics

Jeffrey P. Carpenter

Middlebury College - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2004

Abstract

We define social reciprocity as the act of demonstrating one's disapproval, at some personal cost, for the violation of widely-held norms (e.g., don't free ride). Social reciprocity differs from standard notions of reciprocity because social reciprocators intervene whenever a norm is violated and do not condition intervention on potential future payoffs, revenge, or altruism. Instead, we posit that social reciprocity is a triggered normative response. Our experiment confirms the existence of social reciprocity and demonstrates that more socially efficient outcomes arise when reciprocity can be expressed socially. To provide theoretical foundations for social reciprocity, we show that generalized punishment norms survive in one of the two stable equilibria of an evolutionary game with selection drift.

Keywords: reciprocity, norm, experiment, public good, learning, evolution

JEL Classification: C92, Z13

Suggested Citation

Matthews, Peter Hans and Carpenter, Jeffrey P., Social Reciprocity (October 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1347. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=605242

Peter Hans Matthews

Middlebury College - Department of Economics ( email )

Munroe Hall
Middlebury, VT 05753
United States
802 443-5591 (Phone)
802 443-2084 (Fax)

Jeffrey P. Carpenter (Contact Author)

Middlebury College - Department of Economics ( email )

Munroe Hall
Middlebury, VT 05753
United States
802-443-3241 (Phone)
802-443-2084 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://community.middlebury.edu/~jcarpent/index.ht

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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