Simple and Complex Gift Exchange in the Laboratory

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We examine an experimental gift exchange game in which the players can improve upon the unique no-gifts equilibrium through cooperative gift giving. The main feature of the study is that there are two different types of gift exchange, which we call simple and complex exchange, respectively. Complex exchange gives higher payoffs than simple exchange but it requires not only mutual trust, like simple exchange, but also a substantial degree of coordination. We examine whether players are able to conclude simple and complex exchanges and how this is affected by the move and matching structure of the game.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • experiments
  • reciprocity
  • trust
  • coordination
  • gift exchange


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