Indirect Reciprocity and Strategic Reputation Building in an Experimental Helping Game

Dirk Engelmann, Urs Fischbacher
2003 Social Science Research Network  
We study indirect reciprocity and strategic reputation building in an experimental helping game. At any time only half of the subjects can build a reputation. This allows us to study both pure indirect reciprocity that is not contaminated by strategic reputation building and the impact of incentives for strategic reputation building on the helping rate. We find that while pure indirect reciprocity appears to be important, the helping choice seems to be influenced at least as much by strategic
more » ... nsiderations. Strategic do better than non-strategic players and non-reciprocal do better than reciprocal players, casting doubt on previously proposed evolutionary explanations for indirect reciprocity. ! We thank
doi:10.2139/ssrn.352540 fatcat:hzurmhc67jcmfelsofrzjf7o7i