A theory of sequential reciprocity

M. Dufwenberg, G. Kirchsteiger*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Many experimental studies indicate that people are motivated by reciprocity. Rabin [amer. Econ. Rev. 83 (1993) 1281] develops techniques for incorporating such concerns into game theory and economics. His theory is developed for normal form games, and he abstracts from information about the sequential structure of a strategic situation. We develop a theory of reciprocity for extensive games in which the sequential structure of a strategic situation is made explicit, and propose a new solution concept—sequential reciprocity equilibrium—for which we prove an equilibrium existence result. The model is applied in several examples, and it is shown that it captures very well the intuitive meaning of reciprocity as well as certain qualitative features of experimental evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-298
Number of pages30
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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