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Endogenous reputation formation under the shadow of the future

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  • Kamei, Kenju

Abstract

Recent research has shown that making people’s decisions known to others may enhance cooperation in infinitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma games with random matching. This paper experimentally studies whether people can cooperate with each other by endogenously showing their identities and building cooperative reputations when there is an option to hide the identities. Our experiment shows that a non-negligible fraction of subjects choose to conceal their identities and accordingly subjects fail to cooperate with each other in communities if hiding is cost-free. However, almost all subjects disclose their identities and successfully achieve cooperation if a cost is charged for the act of hiding. This finding has a broad methodological implication for the study of reputation mechanisms when infinitely repeated games are used in an experiment, as people’s behavior may be determined by their ability to hide identities.

Suggested Citation

  • Kamei, Kenju, 2017. "Endogenous reputation formation under the shadow of the future," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 189-204.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:189-204
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.07.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Experiment; Cooperation; Prisoner’s dilemma game; Infinitely repeated game; Reputation;

    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
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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