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Conditional Cooperation: Disentangling Strategic from Non-Strategic Motivations

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  • Reuben, E.
  • Suetens, S.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We use a novel experimental design to examine the role of reputational concerns in explaining conditional cooperation in social dilemmas. By using the strategy method in a repeated sequential prisoners’ dilemma in which the probabilistic end is known, we can distinguish between strategically and non-strategically motivated cooperation. Second movers who are strong reciprocators ought to conditionally cooperate with first movers irrespective of whether the game continues or not. In contrast, strategically motivated second movers conditionally cooperate only if the game continues and they otherwise defect. Experimental results, with two different subject pools, indicate reputation building is used around 30% of the time, which accounts for between 50% and 75% of all realized cooperative actions. The percentage of strong reciprocators varied between 6% to 23%.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2008-33.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200833

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

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Keywords: cooperation; reputation building; strong reciprocity; repeated prisoners’ dilemma;

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Cited by:
  1. Loukas Balafoutas & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2011. "Norm Enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1133, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "The behavioral validity of the strategy method in public good experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-25, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Wieland Mueller & Fangfang Tan, 2011. "Who Acts More Like a Game Theorist? Group and Individual Play in a Sequential Market Game and the Effect of the Time Horizon," Working Papers who_acts_more_like_a_game, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
  4. Johnsen, Åshild A & Kvaløy, Ola, 2014. "You always meet twice: An experiment on intrinsic versus instrumental reciprocity," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014/2, University of Stavanger.
  5. Petrie, Ragan & Jacobson, Sarah, 2013. "Favor Trading in Public Good Provision," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  6. Dreber, Anna & Fudenberg, Drew & Rand, David G., 2014. "Who cooperates in repeated games: The role of altruism, inequity aversion, and demographics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 41-55.
  7. Wright, Julian, 2013. "Punishment strategies in repeated games: Evidence from experimental markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 91-102.

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