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When a Precedent of Donation Favors Defection in the Prisoner's Dilemma

  • Alexis Garapin
  • Daniel Llerena
  • Michel Hollard

In this paper we examine the question of wether a collective activity can influence cooperation in a subsequent repeated one shot prisoner's dilemma (PD) game. We conduct two series of experiments. The first consists of control experiments in which 30 periods of a PD game are played, with a random re-matching of the pairs in every period. In a second series of experiments, subjects first play a donation game and then the PD game. In the donation game they collectively discuss the amount of a donation to a given charity, before putting the question to an individual and anonymous vote. Cooperation levels in the PD games preceded by the donation game are signficantly lower than those observed in the control experiment.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 12 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 409-421

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:12:y:2011:i:4:p:409-421
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