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Fairness norms can explain the emergence of specific cooperation norms in the Battle of the Prisoners Dilemma

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  • Fabian Winter

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

Abstract

Cooperation norms often emerge in situations, where the long term collective benefits help to overcome short run individual interests, for instance in repeated Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) situations. Often, however, there are different paths to cooperation, benefiting different kinds of actors to different degrees. This leads to payoff asymmetries even in the state of cooperation, and consequently can give rise to normative conflicts about which norms should be in place. This norm-coordination problem will be modeled as a Battle of the Sexes game (BoS) with different degrees of asymmetry in payoffs. We combine the PD and the BoS to the 3×3 Battle of the Prisoners Dilemma (BOPD) with several asymmetric cooperative and one non-cooperative equilibria. Bame theoretical and "behavioral" predictions are derived about the kind of norms that are likely to emerge under different shadows of the future and degrees of asymmetry and tested in a lab-experiment. Our experimental data show that game theory fairly well predicts the basic main effects of our experimental manipulations, but "behavioral" predictions perform better in describing the equilibrium selection process of emerging norms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2013-016.

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Date of creation: 24 Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2013-016

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Keywords: Social norms; normative conflict; Prisoner's Dilemma; coordination; experiment;

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  1. Heiko Rauhut & Fabian Winter, 2009. "A sociological perspective on measuring social norms by means of strategy method experiments," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-054, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. Todd L. Cherry & Stephan Kroll & Jason Shogren, 2004. "The Impact of Endowment Heterogeneity and Origin on Contributions in Best-Shot Public Good Games," Working Papers 04-10, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  3. Lisa V. Bruttel & Werner Güth & Ulrich Kamecke & Vera Popova, 2009. "Voluntary Cooperation Based on Equilibrium Retribution - An Experiment Testing Finite-Horizon Folk Theorems," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-030, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
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  6. Lisa Bruttel & Werner Güth & Ulrich Kamecke, 2007. "Time to Defect: Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma Experiments with Uncertain Horizon," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-098, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  7. Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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  12. Nikiforakis, Nikos & Noussair, Charles N. & Wilkening, Tom, 2012. "Normative conflict and feuds: The limits of self-enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 797-807.
  13. Fabian Winter & Heiko Rauhut & Dirk Helbing, 2009. "How norms can generate conflict," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-087, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
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