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Organizations and Overlapping Generations Games: Memory, Communication, and Altruism

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Abstract

This paper studies the role of memory and communication in games between ongoing organizations. In each organization, each individual, upon entry into the game, replaces his predecessor who has the same preferences and faces the same strategic possibilities. Entry across distinct organizations are asynchronous: no two individuals alive at a date have entered at the same time. We model these as repeated games between overlapping generations of individuals (OLG games). It has been shown elsewhere that Folk Theorems hold in OLG games with long enough lived individuals who can perfectly observe. However, the Folk Theorem fails for many games when individuals have no prior memory, i.e., no individual can witness events that occur before his entry into the game. We examine OLG games without prior memory. We then examine such games when the past can be communicated by one generation to the next through "cheap talk" communication. With costly communication, an approximate Folk Theorem holds only when there is some altruistic link between cohorts in an organization. The equilibria in this Folk Theorem require a special form of intergenerational sanctions. In these sanctions, punishment is sometimes carried out long after both victim and perpetrator have left the game. Without this special structure, altruism may in fact destroy cooperation when it would otherwise be possible.

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File URL: http://www8.georgetown.edu/departments/economics/pdf/0102.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1.

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Length: 28pp
Date of creation: 12 Mar 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~01-01-02

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Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Phone: 202-687-6074
Fax: 202-687-6102
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Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/

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Postal: Marcia Suss Administrative Officer Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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Web: http://econ.georgetown.edu/

Related research

Keywords: Organizations; Overlapping Generations Games; Memory; Communication; Altruism.;

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Cited by:
  1. Luca Anderlini & Dino Gerardi & Roger Lagunoff, 2008. "A “Super” Folk Theorem for dynastic repeated games," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 357-394, December.
  2. Luca Anderlini & Dino Gerardi & Roger Lagunoff, 2004. "The Folk Theorem in Dynastic Repeated Games," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1490, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Anderlini, Luca & Gerardi, Dino & Lagunoff, Roger, 2008. "Communication and Learning," Working Papers 37, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  4. Roger Lagunoff, 2002. "Credible Communication in Dynastic Government," Game Theory and Information 0203003, EconWPA.
  5. Conconi, Paola & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2005. "Re-election Incentives and the Sustainability of International Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5401, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Luca Anderlini & Dino Gerardi & Roger Lagunoff, 2007. "Social Memory and Evidence from the Past," Working Papers gueconwpa~07-07-01, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Ando, Munetomo & Kobayashi, Hajime, 2008. "Intergenerational conflicts of interest and seniority systems in organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 757-767, March.

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