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Cooperation in PD Games: Fear, Greed, and History of Play


  • Ahn, T K
  • Ostrom, Elinor
  • Shupp, Robert
  • Walker, James


The impact of the cardinal relationships among pecuniary payoffs, and of social history and reputation, on the choice of strategies in four one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma games is experimentally examined. The results suggest that normalized payoff values linked to "fear" and "greed" are important as predictors of behavior in the PD games. Success in coordinating on the payoff dominant equilibrium in previous plays of coordination games also increases the probability of cooperative play in the PD games. The effect of past play is strongest when individuals are matched repeatedly with the same person in previous play, as contrasted to being matched randomly with another player. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Ahn, T K & Ostrom, Elinor & Shupp, Robert & Walker, James, 2001. "Cooperation in PD Games: Fear, Greed, and History of Play," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 106(1-2), pages 137-155, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:106:y:2001:i:1-2:p:137-55

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