What Does Reciprocity Mean?


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Lakshmipriya Nair Profile
Reciprocity is a way of defining people's informal exchange of goods and labour. Thus it refers to informal economic systems in cultural anthropology. Most non-market economies are based on the principle of reciprocity. It is common to every culture as man is a social animal. It has been categorized into three types namely generalized reciprocity, balanced or symmetrical reciprocity and negative reciprocity.

Reciprocity is also defined as a principle in international relations and treaties. It states that nepotism, reimbursement or penalties that are granted by one state to the citizens or lawful entities of another should be returned in kind. This principle has been implemented in several things like the reduction of tariffs, the funding of copyrights to overseas authors, agreements on extradition and the relaxation of travel limits and visa needs.

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