How robust is laboratory gift exchange?

Gary Charness, Guillaume R. Frechette, John H. Kagel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The gift-exchange game is a form of sequential prisoner's dilemma, developed by Fehr et al. (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.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)189-205
    Number of pages17
    JournalExperimental Economics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 2004


    • Framing
    • Gift exchange
    • Robustness

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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