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Modeling reciprocity in games


Reciprocity plays an important role in socio-economic interactions as recognized by social scientists in all fields. However, there is no interdisciplinary consensus over the definitions of scientific terms, models, and experimental practices to study it. This project will be an attempt to bring together the best findings and techniques from different fields and create a framework that would allow the possibility to systematically study reciprocal behavior. In the first part of the project the game theoretic model will be constructed. The agents in the model will explicitly take the intentions of others as well as the ownership of the payoffs into account. This is a novel approach never attempted in the existing literature. In the second part, we will define the class of strategic situations to which the model can be sensibly applied. These situations should be naturally understood by people as reciprocal and not competitive. The third part will be dedicated to behavioral experiments intended to demonstrate the validity of the model. The mathematical framework will combine the tools of non-cooperative and cooperative game theory and model agents in the way consistent with the knowledge from psychology and neuroscience. This is an important step towards a single model of human behavior in social sciences, an ultimate goal of interdisciplinary research. The experimental part of the project will show new ways of understanding framing effects, which can influence many applied areas from writing contracts to conducting international politics. The results of the project can provide experimental tests for people's attitudes towards private property, which is a main factor in economic growth. This can contribute to the understanding of, for example, the economic processes in the developing countries. The results can also influence economic policy, for instance, by showing novel ways of testing the strength of preferences over wage inequality.

Call for proposal

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Minderbroedersberg 4
6200 MD Maastricht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 151 296,49
Administrative Contact
Ramon Bastin (Mr.)