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Acquired Cooperation in Finite-Horizon Dynamic Games

Listed author(s):
  • Igal Milchtaich


    (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University)

  • Avi Weiss


    (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University)

No matter how many times a prisoner’s-dilemma-like game is repeated, the only equilibrium outcome is the one in which all players defect in all periods. However, if cooperation among the players changes their perception of the game by making defection increasingly less attractive, then it is conceivable that players may be willing to cooperate in the late stages of the repeated interaction, when unilateral defection has become unprofitable. In this case, cooperation may be attainable also in the early stages, since any defection in these stages may be effectively punished a defector by all the other players also ceasing to cooperate. In this paper, we explore this possibility, and consider conditions guaranteeing the players’ willingness to cooperate also in the middle periods, in which defection is more profitable than in the late periods and, at the same time, punishments are less effective than at the beginning. These conditions are sufficient for cooperation in all periods to be an equilibrium outcome.

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Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2002-11.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2002-11
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Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar Ilan University 52900 Ramat-Gan

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