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Cooperative behavior and the frequency of social interaction

  • Duffy, John
  • Ochs, Jack

We report results from an experiment that examines play in an indefinitely repeated, two-player Prisoner's Dilemma game. Each experimental session involves N subjects and a sequence of indefinitely repeated games. The main treatment consists of whether agents are matched in fixed pairings or matched randomly in each indefinitely repeated game. Within the random matching treatment, we elicit player's strategies and beliefs or vary the information that players have about their opponents. Contrary to a theoretical possibility suggested by Kandori [1992. Social norms and community enforcement. Rev. Econ. Stud. 59, 63-80], a cooperative norm does not emerge in the treatments where players are matched randomly. On the other hand, in the fixed pairings treatment, the evidence suggests that a cooperative norm does emerge as players gain more experience.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 66 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 785-812

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:2:p:785-812
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  2. Pedro Dal B�, 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.
  3. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
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  6. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
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