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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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  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. John Duffy & Ernest K. Lai & Wooyoung Lim, 2017. "Coordination via correlation: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 64(2), pages 265-304, August.
    2. 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.
    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. 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.
    5. Doğan, Gönül, 2018. "Collusion in a buyer–seller network formation game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 445-457.
    6. Konstantinos Georgalos & Indrajit Ray & Sonali SenGupta, 2020. "Nash versus coarse correlation," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 23(4), pages 1178-1204, December.
    7. Chakravarty, Surajeet & Kaplan, Todd R. & Myles, Gareth, 2018. "When costly voting is beneficial," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 33-42.
    8. Lisa Bruttel & Werner Güth, 2018. "Asymmetric voluntary cooperation: a repeated sequential best-shot experiment," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 47(3), pages 873-891, September.
    9. Riyanto, Yohanes E. & Roy, Nilanjan, 2019. "Path of intertemporal cooperation and limits to turn-taking behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 21-36.
    10. Kaplan, Todd R. & Ruffle, Bradley J. & Shtudiner, Zeev, 2018. "Cooperation through coordination in two stages," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 206-219.
    11. 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.
    12. Eyal Winter & Luciano Méndez-Naya & Ignacio García-Jurado, 2017. "Mental Equilibrium and Strategic Emotions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(5), pages 1302-1317, May.
    13. Georgalos, Konstantinos & Ray, Indrajit & Gupta, Sonali Sen, 2019. "Nash vs. Coarse Correlation," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2019/3, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Sibly, Hugh & Tisdell, John, 2018. "Cooperation and turn taking in finitely-repeated prisoners' dilemmas: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 49-56.
    21. Leo, Greg, 2017. "Taking turns," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 525-547.

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    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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