IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Time Horizon and Cooperation in Continuous Time

  • Bigoni, Maria

    (University of Bologna)

  • Casari, Marco

    (University of Bologna)

  • Skrzypacz, Andrzej

    (Stanford University)

  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

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

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 500 Can't connect to If this is indeed the case, please notify ()

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 2088r.

in new window

Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2088r
Contact details of provider: Postal: Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015
Phone: (650) 723-2146
Fax: (650)725-6750
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
  2. Skrzypacz, Andrzej & Sannikov, Yuliy, 2005. "Impossibility of Collusion under Imperfect Monitoring with Flexible Production," Research Papers 1887, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  3. Cooper, Russell & DeJong, Douglas V. & Forsythe, Robert & Ross, Thomas W., 1996. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 187-218, February.
  4. Siegfried Berninghaus & Karl-Martin Ehrhart & Marion Ott & Bodo Vogt, 2007. "Evolution of networks—an experimental analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 317-347, June.
  5. Normann, Hans-Theo & Wallace, Brian, 2011. "The impact of the termination rule on cooperation in a prisoner's dilemma experiment," DICE Discussion Papers 19, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  6. Esther Hauk & Rosemarie Nagel, 2000. "Choice of partners in multiple two-person prisoner's dilemma games: An experimental study," Economics Working Papers 487, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Borgers, Tilman & Sarin, Rajiv, 1997. "Learning Through Reinforcement and Replicator Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 1-14, November.
  8. Roth, Alvin & Bereby-Meyer, Yoella, 2006. "The Speed of Learning in Noisy Games: Partial Reinforcement and the Sustainability of Cooperation," Scholarly Articles 2580381, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Bergin, James & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1993. "Continuous Time Repeated Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 21-37, February.
  10. Daniel Friedman & Ryan Oprea, 2012. "A Continuous Dilemma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 337-63, February.
  11. Engle-Warnick, Jim & Slonim, Robert L., 2004. "The evolution of strategies in a repeated trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 553-573, December.
  12. repec:att:wimass:9102 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Reinhard Selten & Michael Mitzkewitz & Gerald R. Uhlich, 1997. "Duopoly Strategies Programmed by Experienced Players," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 517-556, May.
  14. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  15. Leo K. Simon and Maxwell B. Stinchcombe., 1987. "Extensive Form Games in Continuous Time: Pure Strategies," Economics Working Papers 8746, University of California at Berkeley.
  16. Oprea, Ryan & Henwood, Keith & Friedman, Daniel, 2011. "Separating the Hawks from the Doves: Evidence from continuous time laboratory games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2206-2225.
  17. James Andreoni & John H Miller, 1997. "Rational Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma: experimental evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 670, David K. Levine.
  18. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
  19. Szymanski, Stefan, 1996. "Making Hay While the Sun Shines," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 1-16, March.
  20. Cary Deck & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2010. "Perfect and Imperfect Real-Time Monitoring in a Minimum-Effort Game," Working Papers 10-18, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  21. Charness, Gary & Oprea, Ryan & Friedman, Dan, 2012. "Continuous Time and Communication in a Public-goods Experiment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt5404914p, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  22. Ben Greiner, 2004. "The Online Recruitment System ORSEE 2.0 - A Guide for the Organization of Experiments in Economics," Working Paper Series in Economics 10, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  23. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
  24. Palfrey, Thomas R & Rosenthal, Howard, 1994. "Repeated Play, Cooperation and Coordination: An Experimental Study," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 545-65, July.
  25. Siegfried Berninghaus & Karl-Martin Ehrhart & Marion Ott, 2006. "A network experiment in continuous time: The influence of link costs," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 237-251, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2088r. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.