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Strategy choice in the infinitely repeated prisoners' dilemma

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  • Dal Bó, Pedro
  • Fréchette, Guillaume R.

Abstract

We use a novel experimental design to identify the subjects' strategies in an infinitely repeated prisoners' dilemma experiment. We ask subjects to design strategies that will play in their place. We find that eliciting strategies has negligible effects on their behavior, supporting the validity of this method. We find the chosen strategies include some common ones such as Tit-For-Tat and Grim trigger. However, other strategies that are considered to have desirable properties, such as Win-Stay-Lose-Shift, are not prevalent. We also find that the strategies used to support cooperation change with the parameters of the game. Finally, our results confirm that long-run miscoordination can arise. -- In einem neuen experimentellen Design versuchen wir die Strategien von Teilnehmern an einem unendlich wiederholten 'Gefangenendilemma' zu identifizieren. Die Teilnehmer werden gebeten, Strategien zu entwerfen, die an ihrer Stelle spielen sollen. Dabei stellt sich heraus, dass die Erhebung von Strategien nur marginale Auswirkungen auf das Verhalten der Teilnehmer hat, was für die Validität dieser Methode spricht. Unter den gewählten Strategien sind allgemein verbreitete, wie Tit-for-Tat und Grim-Trigger. Andere Strategien dagegen mit erwünschten Eigenschaften wie das 'Win-Stay, Lose-Shift' sind hingegen nicht so gebräuchlich. Zudem stellt sich heraus, dass die Strategien, die Kooperation unterstützen sollen, sich mit den Parametern des Spiels verändern. Schließlich belegen unsere Resultate, dass es zu einer langfristigen Fehlkoordination kommen kann.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change with number SP II 2013-311.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2013311

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Keywords: infinitely repeated games; prisoner's dilemma; cooperation; strategies; experimental economics;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Dreber, Anna & Fudenberg, Drew & Rand, David G., 2014. "Who cooperates in repeated games: The role of altruism, inequity aversion, and demographics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 41-55.

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