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Will Cooperators Manage to Cooperate? - Experimental Evidence


  • Max Albert

    (University of Koblenz-Landau, Department of Economics, Landau, Germany)

  • Erich Kirchler

    (University of Vienna, Department of Psychology, Unit of Economic Psychology, Vienna, Austria)

  • Werner G³th

    (Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems, Strategic Interaction Unit, Jena, Germany)

  • Boris Maciejovsky

    (Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems, Strategic Interaction Unit, Jena, Germany)


It is often claimed that, if one could sense whether the other is going to cooperate or not, cooperators will manage to cooperate. Our experiment tries to shed new light on this debate. Participants could make their strategies in an asymmetric prisoner's dilemma game and a trust game dependent on their partners' individual donation shares to a self-selected charity and on whether their partner belongs to a group with high or low average donations (group affiliation). On average, a high donation share triggered a noncooperative response more often. This result was, however, observable only in the trust game. Participants were found not to condition their choices on group affiliation.

Suggested Citation

  • Max Albert & Erich Kirchler & Werner G³th & Boris Maciejovsky, 2001. "Will Cooperators Manage to Cooperate? - Experimental Evidence," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 18, pages 377-399.
  • Handle: RePEc:hom:homoec:v:18:y:2001:p:377-399

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