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Revealed reputations in the finitely repeated prisoners’ dilemma

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  • Caleb Cox
  • Matthew Jones
  • Kevin Pflum
  • Paul Healy

Abstract

In a sequential-move, finitely repeated prisoners’ dilemma game (FRPD), cooperation can be sustained if the first-mover believes her opponent might be a behavioral type who plays a tit-for-tat strategy in every period. We test this theory by revealing second-mover histories from an earlier FRPD experiment to their current opponent. Despite eliminating the possibility of reputation-building, aggregate cooperation actually increases when histories are revealed. Cooperative histories lead to increased trust, but negative histories do not cause decreased trust. We develop a behavioral model to explain these findings. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:58:y:2015:i:3:p:441-484
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-015-0863-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Kamei, Kenju, 2016. "Information Disclosure and Cooperation in a Finitely-repeated Dilemma: Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 75100, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari, 2018. "Monitoring institutions in indefinitely repeated games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(3), pages 673-691, September.
    3. Vyrastekova, Jana & Funaki, Yukihiko, 2018. "Cooperation in a sequential dilemma game: How much transparency is good for cooperation?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 88-95.
    4. Ernesto Reuben & Sigrid Suetens, 2018. "Instrumental Reciprocity as an Error," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-9, September.
    5. Cox, Caleb A. & Stoddard, Brock, 2018. "Strategic thinking in public goods games with teams," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 31-43.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prisoners’ dilemma; Finitely repeated games; Cooperation; Reputation-building; C70; C73; C92;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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