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Cooperation and fairness: the flood-Dresher experiment revisited

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  • Tom De Herdt
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    Abstract

    In this paper we set out to deepen our understanding of the importance of fairness in decision-making within the context of Prisoners' Dilemma games. A review of the “historic” Flood-Dresher experiment provides a useful empirical basis, as it allows us to look in considerable detail at how the experimental players made up their minds. We try out several game-theoretical readings of the experimental results, and find some value in Adam Smith's age-old concept of rules of conduct. We find that fairness considerations are much more than mere excuses for taking a free ride or pointers to focal points. They seem to play a considerable role both at a conscious and at a less-than-conscious level.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Social Economy.

    Volume (Year): 61 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 183-210

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:61:y:2003:i:2:p:183-210

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    Related research

    Keywords: cooperation; fairness; prisoners' dilemma; rules of conduct;

    References

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