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On Optimal Social Convention in Voluntary Continuation Prisoner's Dilemma Games

  • Filip Vesely
  • Chun-Lei Yang

When the repeated prisoner’s dilemma setup is generalized to allow for a unilateral breakup, maximal efficiency in equilibrium remains an open question. With restrictions of simple symmetry with eternal mutual cooperation, defection, or (matched) alternation on the equilibrium path, we describe the upper limit of discounted lifetime payoff and construct simple social conventions that, for a large set of parameters, achieve it. While all other well-known equilibrium designs in the literature punish defections with a breakup and thus reach the optimum only in degenerate cases, exploited cooperators in ours allow defectors to compensate them by cooperating more in the future.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4553.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4553
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  8. Rafael Rob & Huanxing Yang, 2006. "Long Term Relationships as Safeguards," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000001039, David K. Levine.
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  10. Watson, Joel, 2002. "Starting Small and Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 176-199, January.
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