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A resolution of N -person prisoners' dilemma


  • Ko Nishihara

    (Faculty of Economics, Fukuoka University, 8-19-1, Nanakuma, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka 814-80, JAPAN)


The purpose of this paper is to show that cooperation is possible in N-person prisoners' dilemma if players have incomplete information on the order of their moves. We consider a modified version of N-person prisoners' dilemma in which players sequentially move in the order determined by Nature, and during the play they get some information about others. We provide an information partition and a condition of payoffs for which cooperation is attained in an equilibrium. Further, for the case that full cooperation is not attained, we examine the largest partial cooperation which is achieved in an equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Ko Nishihara, 1997. "A resolution of N -person prisoners' dilemma," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 10(3), pages 531-540.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:10:y:1997:i:3:p:531-540 Note: Received: March 5, 1995; revised version August 11, 1996

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anderson, Christopher M. & Plott, Charles R. & Shimomura, K.-I.Ken-Ichi & Granat, Sander, 2004. "Global instability in experimental general equilibrium: the Scarf example," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 209-249, April.
    2. Timothy Cason & Stanley Reynolds, 2005. "Bounded rationality in laboratory bargaining with asymmetric information," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(3), pages 553-574, April.
    3. Charles N. Noussair & Charles R. Plott & Raymond G. Riezman, 2013. "An Experimental Investigation of the Patterns of International Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 17, pages 299-328 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Gode, Dhananjay K & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Allocative Efficiency of Markets with Zero-Intelligence Traders: Market as a Partial Substitute for Individual Rationality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 119-137, February.
    5. Steven Gjerstad, 2004. "Market Dynamics in Edgeworth Exchange," Microeconomics 0401006, EconWPA.
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    Cited by:

    1. Iñarra García, María Elena & Larrea Jaurrieta, María Concepción & Saracho de la Torre, Ana Isabel, 2003. "The Supercore for Normal Form Games," IKERLANAK 2003-04, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    2. 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), vol. 58(3), pages 441-484, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities


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