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Time Horizon and Cooperation in Continuous Time

Author

Listed:
  • Bigoni, Maria

    (University of Bologna)

  • Casari, Marco

    (University of Bologna)

  • Skrzypacz, Andrzej

    (Stanford University)

  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

    (University of Rome "Tor Vergata" and Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

When subjects interact in continuous time, their ability to cooperate may dramatically increase. In an experiment, we study the impact of different time horizons on cooperation in (quasi) continuous time prisoner's dilemmas. We find that cooperation levels are similar or higher when the horizon is deterministic rather than stochastic. Moreover, a deterministic duration generates different aggregate patterns and individual strategies than a stochastic one. For instance, under a deterministic horizon subjects show high initial cooperation and a strong end-of-period reversal to defection. Moreover, they do not learn to apply backward induction but to postpone defection closer to the end.

Suggested Citation

  • Bigoni, Maria & Casari, Marco & Skrzypacz, Andrzej & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2011. "Time Horizon and Cooperation in Continuous Time," Research Papers 2088, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2088
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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