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Cooperative Strategies in Groups of Strangers: An Experiment

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  • Gabriele Camera
  • Marco Casari
  • Maria Bigoni

Abstract

We study cooperation in four-person economies of indefinite duration. Subjects interact anonymously playing a prisoner’s dilemma. We identify and characterize the strategies employed at the aggregate and at the individual level. We find that (i) grim trigger well describes aggregate play, but not individual play; (ii) individual behavior is persistently heterogeneous; (iii) coordination on cooperative strategies does not improve with experience; (iv) systematic defection does not crowd-out systematic cooperation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Purdue University, Department of Economics in its series Purdue University Economics Working Papers with number 1237.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1237

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Keywords: repeated games; equilibrium selection; prisoners’ dilemma; random matching;

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References

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  1. John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2004. "Cooperative Behavior and the Frequency of Social Interaction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000060, David K. Levine.
  2. Blonski, Matthias & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2003. "Prisoners' Other Dilemma," CEPR Discussion Papers 3856, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Matthias Blonski & Peter Ockenfels & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2011. "Equilibrium Selection in the Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma: Axiomatic Approach and Experimental Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 164-92, August.
  4. Jim Engle-Warnick & Robert Slonim, 2006. "Inferring repeated-game strategies from actions: evidence from trust game experiments," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 603-632, 08.
  5. Daniel Houser & Michael Keane & Kevin McCabe, 2004. "Behavior in a Dynamic Decision Problem: An Analysis of Experimental Evidence Using a Bayesian Type Classification Algorithm," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 781-822, 05.
  6. Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari, 2009. "Cooperation among Strangers under the Shadow of the Future," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 979-1005, June.
  7. ENGLE-WARNICK, Jim & McCAUSLAND, William J. & MILLER, John H., 2004. "The Ghost in the Machine: Inferring Machine-Based Strategies from Observed Behavior," Cahiers de recherche 2004-11, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Grether, David M., 1995. "Are People Bayesian? Uncovering Behavioral Strategies," Working Papers 919, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  9. Offerman, Theo & Potters, Jan & Verbon, Harrie A. A., 2001. "Cooperation in an Overlapping Generations Experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 264-275, August.
  10. Aoyagi, Masaki & Fréchette, Guillaume, 2009. "Collusion as public monitoring becomes noisy: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1135-1165, May.
  11. Friedman, James W, 1979. "Non-Cooperative Equilibria for Exit Supergames," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(1), pages 147-56, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari, 2010. "The Coordination Value of Monetary Exchange: Experimental Evidence," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1239, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  2. M. Bigoni & G. Camera & M. Casari, 2012. "Strategies of cooperation and punishment among students and clerical workers," Working Papers wp828, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  3. Rand, David G & Fudenberg, Drew & Dreber, Anna, 2012. "Slow to Anger and Fast to Forgive: Cooperation in an Uncertain World," Scholarly Articles 11223697, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Lisa Bruttel & Ulrich Kamecke, 2012. "Infinity in the lab. How do people play repeated games?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 205-219, February.

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