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Prior interaction, identity, and cooperation in the Inter-group Prisoner's Dilemma

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  • Cason, Timothy N.
  • Lau, Sau-Him Paul
  • Mui, Vai-Lam

Abstract

This paper studies theoretically and experimentally how success in prior interaction affects cooperation in the one-shot Inter-group Prisoner's Dilemma (IPD). We develop a model of the IPD that incorporates group-contingent social preferences and bounded rationality to derive conditions under which an increase in pro-social concerns for an out-group will increase cooperation. We then report an experiment that shows the cooperation rate increases from 8 percent in a baseline one-shot IPD to 42 percent when the IPD is preceded by a coordination game played by members of the two groups. A post-experiment survey and chat coding results using a natural language classification game both show that successful prior interaction increases individuals’ concerns for their out-group.

Suggested Citation

  • Cason, Timothy N. & Lau, Sau-Him Paul & Mui, Vai-Lam, 2019. "Prior interaction, identity, and cooperation in the Inter-group Prisoner's Dilemma," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 613-629.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:166:y:2019:i:c:p:613-629
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.08.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prior Interaction; Identity; Inter-group Prisoner's Dilemma;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

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