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Communication and Cooperation: A Methodological Study


  • David J. Cooper

    () (Florida State University and University of East Anglia, 113 Collegiate Loop, Room 275, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA)

  • Kai-Uwe Kühn

    () (University of Michigan and CEPR, 611 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA)


We study the effect of communication in an experimental game where cooperation is consistent with equilibrium play. We examine two methodological questions which affect many studies of communication in games, particularly those studying the relationship between communication and cooperation in supergames. We show that making it easier for subjects to reach an agreement (by allowing more rounds of communication) does not increase cooperation with a limited message space treatment. Thus, limited message space treatments are not a good substitute for the use of chat. Making the game longer, thereby making the connection between the first period and the continuation game more obvious, also has little impact on cooperation. For both the two- and three-period versions of our game we find substantial amounts of contingent play. This implies that use of a finitely repeated game, which has a number of methodological advantages, maintains the main properties of the underlying supergame.

Suggested Citation

  • David J. Cooper & Kai-Uwe Kühn, 2016. "Communication and Cooperation: A Methodological Study," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1167-1185, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:82:4:y:2016:p:1167-1185
    DOI: 10.1002/soej.12109

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    Cited by:

    1. Raja R Timilsina & Koji Kotani & Yoshinori Nakagawa & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2019. "Intragenerational deliberation and intergenerational sustainability dilemma," Working Papers SDES-2019-14, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Dec 2019.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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