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Cooperation in Symmetric and Asymmetric Prisoner's Dilemma Games

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Author Info

  • Martin Beckenkamp

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Heike Hennig-Schmidt

    ()
    (Laboratory for Experimental Economics, University of Bonn)

  • Frank P. Maier-Rigaud

    ()
    (Laboratory for Experimental Economics, University of Bonn, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)

Abstract

We experimentally study the effect of asymmetry on cooperation in a 40 period prisoner's dilemma game in fixed partner design. We distinguish between a high and low payoff symmetric prisoner's dilemma and an asymmetric game combined out of both symmetric ones. Asymmetry significantly decreases cooperation, as low-type players are more likely to defect after mutual cooperation while high-type players initiate cooperation more often than the former. Asymmetry also has a significant negative effect on the stability of cooperation rendering long sequences of mutual cooperation extremely rare.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2006_25.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2006_25

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Keywords: Symmetry; Asymmetry; Prisoner's Dilemma; Experiments;

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Cited by:
  1. Sailesh Gunessee, 2009. "Strategic Tax Competition: An Experimental Study," ICBBR Working Papers 5, International Centre for Behavioural Business Research.
  2. Philipp C. Wichardt, 2012. "Norms, cognitive dissonance, and cooperative behaviour in laboratory experiments," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 342-356, May.
  3. Robert Finger & Anna Borer, 2013. "Cooperative Management of a Traditional Irrigation System in the Swiss Alps," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, January.

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