Cooperative Behavior and the Frequency of Social Interaction
We report results from an experiment that examines play in an indefinitely repeated, two-player Prisoner's Dilemma game. Each experimental session involves N subjects and a sequence of indefinitely repeated games. The main treatment consists of whether agents are matched in fixed pairings or matched randomly in each indefinitely repeated game. Within the random matching treatment, we elicit player's strategies and beliefs or vary the information that players have about their opponents. Contrary to a theoretical possibility suggested by Kandori [1992. Social norms and community enforcement. Rev. Econ. Stud. 59, 63-80], a cooperative norm does not emerge in the treatments where players are matched randomly. On the other hand, in the fixed pairings treatment, the evidence suggests that a cooperative norm does emerge as players gain more experience.
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