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A Public Dilemma: Cooperation with Large Stakes and a Large Audience

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  • Michele Belot,

    ()

  • V. Bhaskar

    ()

  • Jeroen van de Ven

    ()

Abstract

We analyze a large-stakes prisoner's dilemma game played on a TV show. Players cooperate 40% of the time, demonstrating that social preferences are important; however, cooperation is significantly below the 50% threshold that is required for inequity aversion to sustain cooperation. Women cooperate significantly more than men, while players who have "earned" more of the stake cooperate less. A player's promise to cooperate is also a good predictor of his decision. Surprisingly, a player's probability of cooperation is unrelated to the opponent's characteristics or promise. We argue that inequity aversion alone cannot adequately explain these results; reputational concerns in a public setting might be more important.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 617.

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Date of creation: 08 Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:617

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Cited by:
  1. Michele Belot, & V. Bhaskar & Jeroen van de Ven, 2007. "Is Beauty only Skin-deep? Disentangling the Beauty Premium on a Game Show," Economics Discussion Papers 624, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

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