Reciprocity Approaches: The Possibility of Human Cooperation

  • Patrici Calvo
Part of the Ethical Economy book series (SEEP, volume 55)


Finding an explanation for human cooperation in highly competitive contexts has become one of the main challenges for economics. Many field studies and laboratory experiments with strategy games have shown that human beings are predisposed to cooperate with their peers in a competitive context like the economic one, and that this is a conduct which most agents consider to be desirable. For many economists, behind this diversion of the theoretical model based on the self-interested rationality of homo oeconomicus lies the human capacity to reciprocate. This allows agents to establish interpersonal relationships to meet common objectives. The objective of this chapter will be to analyse the main reciprocity approaches proposed from sociobiology, evolutionary economics and humanistic economics from the ethical-critical viewpoint as a plausible explanation for cooperation in different areas of activity, particularly economics.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrici Calvo
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitat Jaume ICastellón de la PlanaSpain

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