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Which way to cooperate

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  • Kaplan, Todd
  • Ruffle, Bradley

Abstract

Cooperation in real-world dilemmas takes many forms. We introduce a class of two-player games that permits two distinct ways to cooperate in the repeated game. One way to cooperate is to play cutoff strategies, which rely solely on a player's private value to defection. The second cooperative strategy is to take turns, which relies on publicly available information. Our initial experiments reveal that almost all cooperators adopt cutoff strategies. However, follow-up experiments in which the distribution of values to defection are made more similar show that all cooperators now take turns. Our results offer insight into what form a cooperative norm will take: for mundane tasks or where individuals otherwise have similar payoffs, taking turns is likely; for difficult tasks that differentiate individuals by skill or by preferences, cutoff cooperation will emerge.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 3381.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3381

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Keywords: experimental economics; cooperation; incomplete information; alternating; cutoff strategies; random payoffs;

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  1. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1992. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," NBER Working Papers 4013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "The Use of Information in Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 581-93, July.
  4. Pedro Dal Bó, 2002. "Cooperation Under the Shadow of the Future: Experimental Evidence from Infinitely Repeated Games," Working Papers 2002-20, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Anthony M. Kwasnica & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2007. "Collusion and Equilibrium Selection in Auctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 120-145, 01.
  6. Arthur, W Brian, 1994. "Inductive Reasoning and Bounded Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 406-11, May.
  7. Engelmann, Dirk & Grimm, Veronika, 2008. "Mechanisms for efficient voting with private information about preferences," IWQW Discussion Paper Series 03/2008, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW).
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Matthew O. Jackson, 2011. "History, Expectations, and Leadership in Evolution of Cooperation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000106, David K. Levine.
  9. Timothy N. Cason & Sau-Him Paul Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2011. "Learning, Teaching, and Turn Taking in the Repeated Assignment Game," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1267, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  10. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  12. David P. Myatt, 2000. "The New Theory of Strategic Voting," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers, Econometric Society 1586, Econometric Society.
  13. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2006. "Overcoming Incentive Constraints? The (In-)effectiveness of Social Interaction," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Cologne, Department of Economics 22, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  14. Eyal Winter & Amnon Rapoport & Darryl A. Seale, 2000. "An experimental study of coordination and learning in iterated two-market entry games," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 661-687.
  15. Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A. & Winter, Eyal, 2002. "Coordination and Learning Behavior in Large Groups with Asymmetric Players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 111-136, April.
  16. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Götte, Lorenz, 2006. "Performance Pay and the Erosion of Worker Cooperation: Field Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2013, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Arthur Zillante, 2005. "Spaced Out Monopolies: Theory and Empirics of Alternating Product Releases," Industrial Organization, EconWPA 0505008, EconWPA.
  18. James Andreoni & William T. harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2002. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers, University of Oregon Economics Department 2002-01, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 20 Aug 2002.
  19. Kwasnica, Anthony M., 2000. "The choice of cooperative strategies in sealed bid auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 323-346, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Timothy N. Cason & Sau-Him Paul Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2011. "Learning, Teaching, and Turn Taking in the Repeated Assignment Game," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1267, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  2. Todd R. Kaplan & Bradley J. Ruffle & Ze’ev Shtudiner, 2013. "Waiting To Cooperate?," Working Papers, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics 1314, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  3. Normann, Hans-Theo & Wallace, Brian, 2011. "The impact of the termination rule on cooperation in a prisoner's dilemma experiment," DICE Discussion Papers 19, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  4. Todd Cherry & Stephen Cotten & Stephan Kroll, 2013. "Heterogeneity, Coordination and the Provision of Best-Shot Public Goods," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 497-510, December.
  5. Sau-Him Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2012. "Using turn taking to achieve intertemporal cooperation and symmetry in infinitely repeated 2 × 2 games," Theory and Decision, Springer, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 167-188, February.
  6. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2006. "Overcoming Incentive Constraints? The (In-)effectiveness of Social Interaction," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Cologne, Department of Economics 22, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.

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