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Which Way to Cooperate

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  • Todd R. Kaplan
  • Bradley J. Ruffle

Abstract

We introduce a two-player, binary-choice game in which both players have a privately known incentive to enter, yet the combined surplus is highest if only one enters. Repetition of this game admits two distinct ways to cooperate: turn taking and cutoffs, which rely on the player’s private value to entry. A series of experiments highlights the role of private information in determining which mode players adopt. If an individual’s entry values vary little (e.g., mundane tasks), taking turns is likely; if these potential values are diverse (e.g., difficult tasks that differentiate individuals by skill or preferences), cutoff cooperation emerges.
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Suggested Citation

  • Todd R. Kaplan & Bradley J. Ruffle, 2012. "Which Way to Cooperate," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 1042-1068, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i:563:p:1042-1068
    DOI: j.1468-0297.2011.02485.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02485.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:joecth:v:64:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00199-016-0998-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Todd R. Kaplan & Bradley J. Ruffle & Ze’ev Shtudiner, 2013. "Waiting To Cooperate?," Working Papers 1314, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    3. Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Poulsen, Anders U. & Roos, Michael W.M., 2017. "Real-time tacit bargaining, payoff focality, and coordination complexity: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 687-699.
    4. Hans-Theo Normann & Brian Wallace, 2012. "The impact of the termination rule on cooperation in a prisoner’s dilemma experiment," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 41(3), pages 707-718, August.
    5. Tjaša Bjedov & Thierry Madiès & Marie Claire Villeval, 2016. "Communication And Coordination In A Two-Stage Game," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1519-1540, July.
    6. Timothy Cason & Sau-Him Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2013. "Learning, teaching, and turn taking in the repeated assignment game," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(2), pages 335-357, October.
    7. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2006. "Overcoming Incentive Constraints? The (In-)effectiveness of Social Interaction," Working Paper Series in Economics 22, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    8. Todd Cherry & Stephen Cotten & Stephan Kroll, 2013. "Heterogeneity, Coordination and the Provision of Best-Shot Public Goods," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(4), pages 497-510, December.
    9. Todd Kaplan, Bradley Ruffle, 2015. "Waiting to Cooperate? Cooperation in one-stage and two-stage games," LCERPA Working Papers 0095, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 16 Sep 2015.
    10. Riyanto, Yohanes E. & Roy, Nilanjan, 2017. "It's your turn: experiments with three-player public good games," MPRA Paper 76565, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Sau-Him Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2012. "Using turn taking to achieve intertemporal cooperation and symmetry in infinitely repeated 2 × 2 games," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 167-188, February.
    12. Todd R. Kaplan, Bradley J. Ruffle, Ze'ev Shtudiner, 2017. "Cooperation through Coordination in Two Stages," LCERPA Working Papers 0105, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 30 Sep 2017.
    13. repec:eee:joepsy:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:49-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Leo, Greg, 2017. "Taking turns," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 525-547.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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