Putting Reciprocity to Work - Positive Versus Negative Responses in the Field

University of St. Gallen Economics Discussion Paper No. 2006-27

20 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2006

See all articles by Sebastian Kube

Sebastian Kube

University of Bonn; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Michel André Maréchal

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Clemens Puppe

University of Karlsruhe; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Date Written: November 2006

Abstract

We study the role of reciprocity in a labor market field experiment. In a recent paper, Gneezy and List (2006) investigate the impact of gift exchange in this context and find that it has only a transient effect on long run outcomes. Extending their work to examine both positive and negative reciprocity, we find consonant evidence in the positive reciprocity condition: the gift does not work well in the long run (if at all). Yet, in the negative reciprocity treatment we observe much stronger effects: a wage reduction has a significant and lasting negative impact on efforts. Together, these results highlight the asymmetry of positive and negative reciprocity that exists in the field, and provide an indication of the relative importance of each in the long run.

Keywords: reciprocity, gift exchange, field experiment

JEL Classification: C93, J30

Suggested Citation

Kube, Sebastian and Kube, Sebastian and Maréchal, Michel André and Puppe, Clemens and Puppe, Clemens, Putting Reciprocity to Work - Positive Versus Negative Responses in the Field (November 2006). University of St. Gallen Economics Discussion Paper No. 2006-27, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=944393 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.944393

Sebastian Kube (Contact Author)

University of Bonn

BWL 1
Adenauerallee 24-42
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Michel André Maréchal

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

Clemens Puppe

University of Karlsruhe ( email )

Kaiserstrasse 12
Karlsruhe, 76128
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wior.uni-karlsruhe.de/LS_Puppe/Personal/puppe_home

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ( email )

Kaiserstraße 12
Karlsruhe, Baden Württemberg 76131
Germany

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