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Patience or Fairness? Analyzing Social Preferences in Repeated Games

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  • John Duffy
  • Felix Munoz-Garcia

Abstract

This paper investigates how the introduction of social preferences affects players` equilibrium behavior in both one-shot and infinitely repeated versions of the Prisoner`s Dilemma game. We first show that defection survives as the unique equilibrium of the stage game if at least one player is not too concerned about inequity aversion. Second, we demonstrate that in the infinitely repeated version of the game, fairness concerns operate as a `substitute` for time discounting, as fairness helps sustain cooperation for lower discount factors. We then extend our results to more general simultaneous-move games, and more general preferences. Finally, we point out the implications of our findings for the design and analysis of experiments involving repeated games. In particular, repeated game equilibria which are thought to be supported by sufficiently large discount factors, may in fact be sustained by a combination of discounting and social preference parameters, an observation that may help rationalize recent experimental findings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 383.

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Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision: May 2009
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:383

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  1. Cooper, Russell & DeJong, Douglas V. & Forsythe, Robert & Ross, Thomas W., 1996. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 187-218, February.
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  25. John Duffy & Felix Munoz-Garcia, 2010. "Signaling Concerns about Fairness: Cooperation under Uncertain Social Preferences," Working Papers 2010-19, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
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Cited by:
  1. John Duffy & Felix Munoz-Garcia, 2012. "Cooperation and Signaling with Uncertain Social Preferences," Working Papers 491, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised May 2013.
  2. John Duffy & Felix Munoz-Garcia, 2010. "Signaling Concerns about Fairness: Cooperation under Uncertain Social Preferences," Working Papers 2010-19, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  3. Oechssler, Jörg, 2011. "Finitely repeated games with social preferences," Working Papers 0512, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  4. Hitoshi Matsushima & Tomomi Tanaka & Tomohisa Toyama, 2013. "Behavioral Approach to Repeated Games with Private Monitoring," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-879, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.

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