Cooperation as self-interested reciprocity in the Centipede
AbstractCooperation is a pervasive social phenomenon but more often than not economic theories have little to say about its causes and consequences. In this paper, we explore the hypothesis that cooperative behaviour might be motivated by purely selfish interest when the “social” payoff in a game is increasing. We report the results of a series of experiments on the centipede game. The experiments are organized in two subsequent steps. Subjects first participate in a 2-period trust game, randomly matched with unknown partners. We apply the strategy method in order to elicit their social preferences. On the basis of their pre-game behaviour, individuals are divided into three main social groups: selfish individuals, pure altruists and reciprocators. At the second step of the experiment, subjects play a repeated 6-move centipede game with increasing final payoff. Each subject plays twice in a low stake and in a high centipede game, and he/she is informed about his/her co-player social preferences. We identify the origin of cooperation within homogeneous and heterogeneous social groups.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 3701.
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
social preferences; altruisms; experiments;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-06-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2007-06-30 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2007-06-30 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2007-06-30 (Game Theory)
- NEP-SOC-2007-06-30 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2001. "The Relevance of Equal Splits in Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-169, October.
- M. Rabin, 2001.
"Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
511, David K. Levine.
- Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
- Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
- Abigail Barr & Magnus Lindelow, 2005.
"Strategy Choice and Cognitive Ability in Field Experiments,"
Economics Series Working Papers
GPRG-WPS-034, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Abigail Barr & Magnus Lindelow & Pieter Serneels & Jose Garcia-Motalvo, 2005. "Strategy choice and cognitive ability in field experiments," Framed Field Experiments 00113, The Field Experiments Website.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003.
"Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 10313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Development Working Papers 193, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001.
"Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment,"
Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
- Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, .
"A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation,"
IEW - Working Papers
004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
- David K. Levine, 1998.
"Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment,"
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
- Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006.
"Incentives and Prosocial Behavior,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," Working Papers 137, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 1695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Incentives and Prosocial Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 4633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IDEI Working Papers 389, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jan 2006.
- Giovanni Ponti, .
"Cycles Of Learning In The Centipede Game,"
ELSE working papers
024, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
- Aumann, Robert J., 1998. "On the Centipede Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 97-105, April.
- Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2004.
"Social learning and voluntary cooperation among like-minded people,"
University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004
2004-12, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
- Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2005. "Social Learning and Voluntary Cooperation Among Like-Minded People," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 303-314, 04/05.
- McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1992. "An Experimental Study of the Centipede Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 803-36, July.
- Aumann, Robert J., 1996. "Reply to Binmore," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 138-146, November.
- Aumann, Robert J., 1995. "Backward induction and common knowledge of rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 6-19.
- Fey, Mark & McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1996. "An Experimental Study of Constant-Sum Centipede Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 269-87.
- Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.