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Revisiting strategic versus non-strategic cooperation

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  • Ernesto Reuben

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  • Sigrid Suetens

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Abstract

We use a novel experimental design to disentangle strategically- and non-strategically-motivated cooperation. By using contingent responses in a repeated sequential prisoners' dilemma with a known probabilistic end, we differentiate end-game behavior from continuation behavior within individuals while controlling for expectations. This design allows us to determine the extent to which strategically-cooperating individuals are responsible for the so-called end-game effect. Experiments with two different subject pools indicate that the most common motive for cooperation in repeated games is strategic and that the extent to which end-game effects are driven by strategically-cooperating individuals depends on the profitability of cooperation.
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  • Ernesto Reuben & Sigrid Suetens, 2012. "Revisiting strategic versus non-strategic cooperation," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(1), pages 24-43, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:15:y:2012:i:1:p:24-43 DOI: 10.1007/s10683-011-9286-4
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischbacher, Urs & Gächter, Simon & Quercia, Simone, 2012. "The behavioral validity of the strategy method in public good experiments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 897-913.
    2. Johnsen, Åshild A & Kvaløy, Ola, 2014. "You always meet twice: An experiment on intrinsic versus instrumental reciprocity," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014/2, University of Stavanger.
    3. Sarah Jacobson & Ragan Petrie, 2014. "Favor trading in public good provision," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(3), pages 439-460, September.
    4. Fahn, Matthias & Schade, Anne & Schüßler, Katharina, 2017. "Gift exchange vs. repeated interaction as a source of reciprocal behavior," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168150, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Douglas Davis & Asen Ivanov & Oleg Korenok, 2016. "Individual characteristics and behavior in repeated games: an experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, pages 67-99.
    6. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:216-229 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Dreber, Anna & Fudenberg, Drew & Rand, David G., 2014. "Who cooperates in repeated games: The role of altruism, inequity aversion, and demographics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 41-55.
    8. Caleb Cox & Matthew Jones & Kevin Pflum & Paul Healy, 2015. "Revealed reputations in the finitely repeated prisoners’ dilemma," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 441-484.
    9. Müller, Wieland & Tan, Fangfang, 2013. "Who acts more like a game theorist? Group and individual play in a sequential market game and the effect of the time horizon," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 658-674.
    10. Lacomba, Juan A. & Lagos, Francisco & Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2017. "Decisiveness, peace, and inequality in games of conflict," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 216-229.
    11. Cabral, Luis & Ozbay, Erkut Y. & Schotter, Andrew, 2014. "Intrinsic and instrumental reciprocity: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 100-121.
    12. Balafoutas, Loukas & Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2012. "Norm enforcement in the city: A natural field experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1773-1785.
    13. Carsten J. Crede & Liang Lu, 2016. "The effects of endogenous enforcement on strategic uncertainty and cartel deterrence," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-08, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    14. Johnsen, Åshild A. & Kvaløy, Ola, 2016. "Does strategic kindness crowd out prosocial behavior?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 1-11.
    15. T.K Ahn & Loukas Balafoutas & Mongoljin Batsaikhan & Francisco Campos Ortiz & Louis Putterman & Matthias Sutter, 2016. "Trust and Communication in a Property Rights Dilemma," Working Papers 2016-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    16. Takafumi Yamakawa & Yoshitaka Okano & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2015. "Detecting motives for cooperation in public goods experiments," Working Papers SDES-2015-15, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Mar 2015.
    17. Takafumi Yamakawa & Yoshitaka Okano & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2016. "Detecting motives for cooperation in public goods experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(2), pages 500-512, June.
    18. Wright, Julian, 2013. "Punishment strategies in repeated games: Evidence from experimental markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 91-102.
    19. Mermer, A.G., 2014. "Essays in behavioral economics : Applied game theory and experiments," Other publications TiSEM eaadb29a-8041-4e76-a8d1-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    20. Messinger, Paul R., 2016. "The role of fairness in competitive supply chain relationships: An experimental studyAuthor-Name: Choi, Sungchul," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 251(3), pages 798-813.
    21. Marina Agranov & Alberto Bisin & Andrew Schotter, 2014. "An experimental study of the impact of competition for Other People’s Money: the portfolio manager market," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(4), pages 564-585, December.
    22. Matthias Fahn & Anne Schade & Katharina Schüßler, 2017. "What Drives Reciprocal Behavior? The Optimal Provision of Incentives over the Course of Careers," CESifo Working Paper Series 6635, CESifo Group Munich.
    23. Åshild A. Johnsen & Ola Kvaløy, 2014. "Does Instrumental Reciprocity Crowd out Prosocial Behavior?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5078, CESifo Group Munich.

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    Keywords

    Repeated games; Cooperation; Reputation building; Strong reciprocity; C92; D01; D70;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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