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Friend or Foe? A Natural Experiment of the Prisoner's Dilemma

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  • John A. List

Abstract

This study examines data drawn from the game show Friend or Foe?, which is similar to the classic prisoner%u2019s dilemma tale: partnerships are endogenously determined, players work together to earn money, after which, they play a one-shot prisoner%u2019s dilemma game over large stakes: varying from $200 to (potentially) more than $22,000. If one were to conduct such an experiment in the laboratory, the cost to gather the data would be well over $350,000. The data reveal several interesting insights; perhaps most provocatively, they suggest that even though the game is played in front of an audience of millions of viewers, there is some evidence consistent with a model of discrimination. The observed patterns of social discrimination are unanticipated, however. For example, there is evidence consistent with the notion that certain populations have a general %u201Cdistaste%u201D for older participants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12097.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12097

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  5. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
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  7. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  8. John List, 2006. "The behavioralist meets the market: Measuring social preferences and reputation effects in actual transactions," Natural Field Experiments 00300, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2008. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes: Evidence from laboratory experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-93, February.
  10. John A. List, 2004. "The Nature and Extent of Discrimination in the Marketplace: Evidence from the Field," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 49-89, February.
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  16. John A. List & Robert P. Berrens & Alok K. Bohara & Joe Kerkvliet, 2004. "Examining the Role of Social Isolation on Stated Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 741-752, June.
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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.
  2. Donja Darai & Silvia Grätz, 2012. "Attraction and cooperative behavior," ECON - Working Papers 082, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Dec 2012.
  3. Castillo, Marco & Petrie, Ragan, 2010. "Discrimination in the lab: Does information trump appearance?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 50-59, January.
  4. Werner Güth & Oliver Kirchkamp, 2010. "Will You Accept Without Knowing What? A Thuringian Newspaper Experiment of the Yes-No Game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-006, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  5. Michele Belot, & V. Bhaskar & Jeroen van de Ven, 2006. "A Public Dilemma: Cooperation with Large Stakes and a Large Audience," Economics Discussion Papers 617, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  6. Fong, Christina M. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2011. "Do fairness and race matter in generosity? Evidence from a nationally representative charity experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 372-394.
  7. Fong, Christina M. & Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2007. "What Determines Giving to Hurricane Katrina Victims? Experimental Evidence on Income, Race, and Fairness," Working Paper Series rwp07-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  8. Anwar, Shamena, 2012. "Testing for discrimination: Evidence from the game show Street Smarts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 268-285.
  9. Werner Güth & Oliver Kirchkamp, 2012. "Will you accept without knowing what? The Yes-No game in the newspaper and in the lab," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 656-666, December.
  10. Egil Matsen & Bjarne Strøm, 2006. "Joker: Choice in a simple game with large stakes," Working Paper Series 8307, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  11. Gurevich, Gregory & Kliger, Doron, 2013. "The Manipulation: Socio-economic decision making," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 171-184.
  12. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2011. "Double or Nothing!? Small Groups Making Decisions Under Risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Ruhr Economic Papers 0278, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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