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Classroom Games: A Prisoner's Dilemma

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  • Charles A. Holt

    ()

  • Monica Capra

Abstract

Game theory is often introduced in undergraduate courses in the context of a prisoner's dilemma paradigm, which illustrates the conflict between social incentives to cooperate and private incentives to defect. We present a very simple card game that efficiently involves a large number of students in a prisoner's dilemma. The extent of cooperation is affected by the payoff incentives and by the nature of repeated interaction. The exercise can be used to stimulate a discussion of a wide range of topics such as bankruptcy, quality standards, or price competition.

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File URL: http://www.virginia.edu/economics/RePEc/vir/virpap/papers/virpap330.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Virginia, Department of Economics in its series Virginia Economics Online Papers with number 330.

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Length: 12 pages
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Handle: RePEc:vir:virpap:330

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Web page: http://www.virginia.edu/economics/home.html

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Keywords: prisoner's dilemma; game theory; experimental economics; classroom experiments;

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  1. Roth, Alvin E, 1988. "Laboratory Experimentation in Economics: A Methodological Overview," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 974-1031, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Dawes, Robyn M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "Anomalies: Cooperation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 187-97, Summer.
  4. C. Monica Capra, 1999. "Anomalous Behavior in a Traveler's Dilemma?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 678-690, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Uri Benzion & Yochanan Shachmurove & Joseph Yagil, 2003. "How good is the Exponential Function discounting Formula? An Experimental Study," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Uri Benzion & Yochanan Shachmurove & Joseph Yagil, 2004. "Subjective discount functions - an experimental approach," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 299-311.
  3. Andreas Ortmann, 2003. "Bertrand Price Undercutting: A Brief Classroom Demonstration," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 21-26, January.
  4. Melo, L, 2010. "Earth magnetism and the economic behavior," MPRA Paper 21656, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Jeroen Hinloopen & Adriaan Soetevent, 2008. "From Overt to Tacit Collusion," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-059/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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