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Testing theories of reciprocity: do motivations matter?

[journal article]

Stanca, Luca; Bruni, Luigino; Corazzini, Luca

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-293037

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Abstract One of the key issues for understanding reciprocity is how agents evaluate the kindness of an action. In this paper we investigate experimentally the hypothesis that the motivation driving an action is relevant for its perceived kindness and, as a consequence, for reciprocal behavior. In particular, we examine the hypothesis that, for a given distributional outcome, positive reciprocity is less strong in response to strategically motivated actions than to non-strategically motivated actions. Our results indicate that, both at the aggregate and the individual level, reciprocity is significantly stronger when strategic motivations can be ruled out. These findings suggest that intentions matter and, in particular, that models of intention-based reciprocity should take into account the nature of the motivations behind choices.
Classification General Psychology
Free Keywords Reciprocity; Intrinsic Motivations; Laboratory Experiments; D63; C78; C91
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages 233–245 p.
Journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 71 (2009) 2
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2009.04.009
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)