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Which Way to Cooperate

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  • Todd R. Kaplan
  • Bradley J. Ruffle

Abstract

We introduce a two-player, binary-choice game in which both players have a privately known incentive to enter, yet the combined surplus is highest if only one enters. Repetition of this game admits two distinct ways to cooperate: turn taking and cutoffs, which rely on the player's private value to entry. A series of experiments highlights the role of private information in determining which mode players adopt. If an individual's entry values vary little (e.g., mundane tasks), taking turns is likely; if these potential values are diverse (e.g., difficult tasks that differentiate individuals by skill or preferences), cutoff cooperation emerges.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 122 (2012)
Issue (Month): 563 (09)
Pages: 1042-1068

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i:563:p:1042-1068

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  14. Jeffrey Carpenter & Stephen Burks & Lorenz Götte, 2006. "Performance Pay and the Erosion of Worker Cooperation: Field experimental evidence," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0603, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  15. Timothy N. Cason & Sau-Him Paul Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2011. "Learning, Teaching, and Turn Taking in the Repeated Assignment Game," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1267, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Timothy Cason & Sau-Him Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2013. "Learning, teaching, and turn taking in the repeated assignment game," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 335-357, October.
  2. Hans-Theo Normann & Brian Wallace, 2012. "The impact of the termination rule on cooperation in a prisoner’s dilemma experiment," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 707-718, August.
  3. Kaplan, Todd & Ruffle, Bradley & Shtudiner, Zeev, 2013. "Waiting to Cooperate?," MPRA Paper 50096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Todd Cherry & Stephen Cotten & Stephan Kroll, 2013. "Heterogeneity, Coordination and the Provision of Best-Shot Public Goods," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 497-510, December.
  5. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2006. "Overcoming Incentive Constraints? The (In-)effectiveness of Social Interaction," Working Paper Series in Economics 22, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  6. Sau-Him Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2012. "Using turn taking to achieve intertemporal cooperation and symmetry in infinitely repeated 2 × 2 games," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 167-188, February.

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