IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/gamebe/v102y2017icp487-507.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

At-will relationships: How an option to walk away affects cooperation and efficiency

Author

Listed:
  • Wilson, Alistair J.
  • Wu, Hong

Abstract

We theoretically and experimentally examine the effects from adding a simple, empirically relevant action to a repeated partnership, the option to walk away. Manipulating both the value of the outside option, and its relative distribution among the partners, we examine the behavior of human subjects in a repeated prisoners' dilemma. In particular, we examine the degree of cooperation and the form of punishments used. Our findings indicate that cooperation rates are broadly unaffected by the value of the common outside option, but that the selection of supporting punishments—in-relationship defections or walking-away—are dictated by individual rationality. In contrast to the symmetric results, when outside options for partners are asymmetric we find stark selection effects over cooperation, with the potential for very high and very low efficiency, dependent on the precise division rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilson, Alistair J. & Wu, Hong, 2017. "At-will relationships: How an option to walk away affects cooperation and efficiency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 487-507.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:102:y:2017:i:c:p:487-507
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2017.02.007
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899825617300337
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.geb.2017.02.007?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cramton, Peter & Gibbons, Robert & Klemperer, Paul, 1987. "Dissolving a Partnership Efficiently," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 615-632, May.
    2. Jianpei Li & Elmar Wolfstetter, 2010. "Partnership dissolution, complementarity, and investment incentives," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(3), pages 529-552, July.
    3. Drew Fudenberg & David G. Rand & Anna Dreber, 2012. "Slow to Anger and Fast to Forgive: Cooperation in an Uncertain World," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 720-749, April.
    4. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414.
    5. Drew Fudenberg & David Levine & Eric Maskin, 2008. "The Folk Theorem With Imperfect Public Information," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine (ed.), A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 12, pages 231-273, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
    7. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    8. Thomas R. Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1994. "Repeated Play, Cooperation and Coordination: An Experimental Study," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 545-565.
    9. Preston McAfee, R., 1992. "Amicable divorce: Dissolving a partnership with simple mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 266-293, April.
    10. Comino, Stefano & Nicolò, Antonio & Tedeschi, Piero, 2010. "Termination clauses in partnerships," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 718-732, July.
    11. Richard R. W. Brooks & Claudia M. Landeo & Kathryn E. Spier, 2010. "Trigger happy or gun shy? Dissolving common‐value partnerships with Texas shootouts," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(4), pages 649-673, December.
    12. Esther Hauk & Rosemarie Nagel, 2001. "Choice of Partners in Multiple Two-Person Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 45(6), pages 770-793, December.
    13. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1990. "Toward a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1041-1063, September.
    14. Anna Dreber & David G. Rand & Drew Fudenberg & Martin A. Nowak, 2008. "Winners don’t punish," Nature, Nature, vol. 452(7185), pages 348-351, March.
    15. Drew Fudenberg & Eric Maskin, 2008. "The Folk Theorem In Repeated Games With Discounting Or With Incomplete Information," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine (ed.), A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 11, pages 209-230, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    16. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
    17. Aoyagi, Masaki & Fréchette, Guillaume, 2009. "Collusion as public monitoring becomes noisy: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1135-1165, May.
    18. J. Keith Murnighan & Alvin E. Roth, 1983. "Expecting Continued Play in Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 27(2), pages 279-300, June.
    19. Gaudeul, Alexia & Crosetto, Paolo & Riener, Gerhard, 2017. "Better stuck together or free to go? Of the stability of cooperation when individuals have outside options," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 99-112.
    20. Porter, Robert H., 1983. "Optimal cartel trigger price strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 313-338, April.
    21. Duffy, John & Ochs, Jack, 2009. "Cooperative behavior and the frequency of social interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 785-812, July.
    22. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
    23. Roy Radner & Roger Myerson & Eric Maskin, 1986. "An Example of a Repeated Partnership Game with Discounting and with Uniformly Inefficient Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 59-69.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gaudeul, Alexia & Crosetto, Paolo & Riener, Gerhard, 2017. "Better stuck together or free to go? Of the stability of cooperation when individuals have outside options," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 99-112.
    2. Paolo Crosetto & Alexia Gaudeul & Gerhard Riener, 2012. "Partnerships, Imperfect Monitoring and Outside Options: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-052, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    3. Guido, Andrea & Robbett, Andrea & Romaniuc, Rustam, 2019. "Group formation and cooperation in social dilemmas: A survey and meta-analytic evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 192-209.
    4. Dorothée Honhon & Kyle Hyndman, 2020. "Flexibility and Reputation in Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma Games," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(11), pages 4998-5014, November.
    5. Nosenzo, Daniele & Tufano, Fabio, 2017. "The effect of voluntary participation on cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 307-319.
    6. Chloe Tergiman & Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "The Way People Lie in Markets," Working Papers 1927, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    7. Daniele Nosenzo & Fabio Tufano, 2015. "Entry or Exit? The Effect of Voluntary Participation on Cooperation," Discussion Papers 2015-20, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    8. Serdarevic, Nina & Strømland, Eirik & Tjøtta, Sigve, 2021. "It pays to be nice: The benefits of cooperating in markets," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    9. Jiang, Janet Hua & Puzzello, Daniela & Zhang, Cathy, 2021. "How long is forever in the laboratory? Three implementations of an infinite-horizon monetary economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 278-301.
    10. Guillaume R. Fréchette & Sevgi Yuksel, 2017. "Infinitely repeated games in the laboratory: four perspectives on discounting and random termination," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(2), pages 279-308, June.
    11. Zeng, Weijun & Ai, Hongfeng & Zhao, Man, 2019. "Asymmetrical expectations of future interaction and cooperation in the iterated prisoner's dilemma game," Applied Mathematics and Computation, Elsevier, vol. 359(C), pages 148-164.
    12. Kyle Hyndman & Dorothée Honhon, 2020. "Flexibility in Long-Term Relationships: An Experimental Study," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 22(2), pages 273-291, March.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. repec:pit:wpaper:532 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Osório-Costa, António M., 2009. "Efficiency Gains in Repeated Games at Random Moments in Time," MPRA Paper 13105, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Rand, David G. & Fudenberg, Drew & Dreber, Anna, 2015. "It's the thought that counts: The role of intentions in noisy repeated games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 481-499.
    4. Pedro Dal Bo, 2002. "Three Essays on Repeated Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000038, David K. Levine.
    5. Ghidoni, Riccardo & Calzolari, Giacomo & Casari, Marco, 2017. "Climate change: Behavioral responses from extreme events and delayed damages," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(S1), pages 103-115.
    6. Chaim Fershtman & Ariel Pakes, 2000. "A Dynamic Oligopoly with Collusion and Price Wars," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 207-236, Summer.
    7. Pablo Hernandez-Lagos & Dylan Minor & Dana Sisak, 2017. "Do people who care about others cooperate more? Experimental evidence from relative incentive pay," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(4), pages 809-835, December.
    8. Drew Fudenberg & David G. Rand & Anna Dreber, 2012. "Slow to Anger and Fast to Forgive: Cooperation in an Uncertain World," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 720-749, April.
    9. Pedro Dal Bó, 2005. "Cooperation under the Shadow of the Future: Experimental Evidence from Infinitely Repeated Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1591-1604, December.
    10. Bård Harstad & Francesco Lancia & Alessia Russo, 2019. "Compliance Technology and Self-enforcing Agreements," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-29.
    11. Kayaba, Yutaka & Matsushima, Hitoshi & Toyama, Tomohisa, 2020. "Accuracy and retaliation in repeated games with imperfect private monitoring: Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 193-208.
    12. Kaplow, Louis & Shapiro, Carl, 2007. "Antitrust," Handbook of Law and Economics, in: A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell (ed.), Handbook of Law and Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 1073-1225, Elsevier.
    13. Miyagawa, Eiichi & Miyahara, Yasuyuki & Sekiguchi, Tadashi, 2008. "The folk theorem for repeated games with observation costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 192-221, March.
    14. Fudenberg, Drew & Yamamoto, Yuichi, 2011. "Learning from private information in noisy repeated games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 1733-1769, September.
    15. Pedro Dal Bó, 2007. "Tacit collusion under interest rate fluctuations," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 533-540, June.
    16. Escobar, Juan F. & Llanes, Gastón, 2018. "Cooperation dynamics in repeated games of adverse selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 408-443.
    17. Dou, Winston Wei & Ji, Yan & Wu, Wei, 2021. "Competition, profitability, and discount rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 582-620.
    18. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2008. "An Approximate Folk Theorem with Imperfect Private Information," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine (ed.), A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 14, pages 309-330, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    19. Pedro Dal Bo & Guillaume R. Frochette, 2011. "The Evolution of Cooperation in Infinitely Repeated Games: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 411-429, February.
    20. D. Fudenberg & D. K. Levine., 2017. "Whither game theory? Towards a theory of learning in games," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
    21. Yutaka Kayaba & Hitoshi Matsushima & Tomohisa Toyama, 2019. "Accuracy and Retaliation in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring: Experiments (Revised version of CARF-F-433)," CARF F-Series CARF-F-466, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Outside options; Endogenous termination; Dissolution clauses; Imperfect public monitoring; Dynamic games;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:102:y:2017:i:c:p:487-507. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.