Intrinsic and instrumental reciprocity: An experimental study

Luis Cabral, Erkut Y. Ozbay, Andrew Schotter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In the context of an indefinitely repeated veto game, we devise an experiment to distinguish between alternative explanations of generous behavior (accepting negative payoffs): altruism, intrinsic backward-looking reciprocity, and instrumental forward-looking reciprocity. Our results are broadly consistent with the hypothesis that observed sacrifices are motivated by equilibrium selfish, forward-looking reciprocal behavior although we find a more subtle way in which past kindness affects behavior.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)100-121
    Number of pages22
    JournalGames and Economic Behavior
    StatePublished - Sep 2014


    • Indefinitely repeated games
    • Reciprocity
    • Veto game

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Finance
    • Economics and Econometrics


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