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Compensating the cooperators: is sorting in the prisoner's dilemma possible?

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  • Bohnet, Iris
  • Kubler, Dorothea

Abstract

Choice between different versions of a game may provide a means of sorting, allowing players with different preferences to self-select into groups of similar types. We experimentally investigate whether auctioning off the right to play a prisoner's dilemma game in which the cost of unilateral cooperation is lower than in the status quo version separates (conditional) cooperators from money maximizers. After the auction, significantly more subjects cooperate in the modified PD than in the status quo PD whereas there is no difference between cooperation rates if the two versions of the game were assigned to participants. However, sorting is incomplete and cooperation deteriorates over time. The auction price does not correspond to the differences in expected values between the modified and the status quo game.
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  • Bohnet, Iris & Kubler, Dorothea, 2005. "Compensating the cooperators: is sorting in the prisoner's dilemma possible?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 61-76, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:56:y:2005:i:1:p:61-76
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    2. Hichri, Walid, 2004. "Interior Collective Optimum in a Volontary Contribution to a Public-Goods Game : An Experimental Approach," MPRA Paper 7883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Tor Eriksson & Sabrina Teyssier & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2009. "Self-Selection And The Efficiency Of Tournaments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 530-548, July.
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    6. Huck, Steffen & Lünser, Gabriele K. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "Competition fosters trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 195-209.
    7. Mary L. Rigdon & Kevin A. McCabe & Vernon L. Smith, 2007. "Sustaining Cooperation in Trust Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 991-1007, July.
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    9. Ertaç, Seda & Hortaçsu, Ali & Roberts, James W., 2011. "Entry into auctions: An experimental analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 168-178.
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    11. Friederike Mengel & Veronika Grimm, 2007. "Cooperation In Viscous Populations - Experimental Evidence," Working Papers. Serie AD 2007-17, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    12. Robert W. Rosenthal & Jason Shachat & Mark Walker, 2003. "Hide and seek in Arizona," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 32(2), pages 273-293, December.
    13. Frédéric Schneider & Roberto A. Weber, 2013. "Long-term commitment and cooperation," ECON - Working Papers 130, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
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    15. Jason A. Aimone & Laurence R. Iannaccone & Michael D. Makowsky & Jared Rubin, 2013. "Endogenous Group Formation via Unproductive Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1215-1236.
    16. Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & Houser, Daniel & McCabe, Kevin, 2007. "Disposition, history and contributions in public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 304-315, February.
    17. Grimm, Veronika & Mengel, Friederike, 2009. "Cooperation in viscous populations--Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 202-220, May.
    18. Großer, Jens & Reuben, Ernesto & Tymula, Agnieszka, 2010. "Tacit Lobbying Agreements: An Experimental Study," IZA Discussion Papers 5332, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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