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Which Way to Cooperate

We introduce a two-player, binary-choice game in which both players have a privately known incentive to enter, yet the combined surplus is highest if only one enters. Repetition of this game admits two distinct ways to cooperate: turn taking and cutoffs, which rely on the player's private value to entry. A series of experiments highlights the role of private information in determining which mode players adopt. If an individual's entry values vary little (e.g., mundane tasks), taking turns is likely; if these potential values are diverse (e.g., difficult tasks that differentiate individuals by skill or preferences), cutoff cooperation emerges.

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Paper provided by University of Haifa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number WP2011/5.

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Length: 43
Date of creation:
Publication status: forthcoming in The Economic Journal
Handle: RePEc:haf:huedwp:wp201105
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  1. Jeffrey Carpenter & Stephen Burks & Lorenz Götte, 2006. "Performance Pay and the Erosion of Worker Cooperation: Field experimental evidence," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0603, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  2. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
  3. Porter, Robert H & Zona, J Douglas, 1993. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 518-538, June.
  4. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2012. "Mechanisms for Efficient Voting with Private Information about Preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 1010-1041, 09.
  5. Timothy Cason & Sau-Him Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2013. "Learning, teaching, and turn taking in the repeated assignment game," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(2), pages 335-357, October.
  6. Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A. & Winter, Eyal, 2002. "Coordination and Learning Behavior in Large Groups with Asymmetric Players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 111-136, April.
  7. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2006. "Overcoming Incentive Constraints? The (In-)effectiveness of Social Interaction," Working Paper Series in Economics 22, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
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  9. Arthur, W Brian, 1994. "Inductive Reasoning and Bounded Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 406-411, May.
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  11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  12. Pedro Dal Bó, 2005. "Cooperation under the Shadow of the Future: Experimental Evidence from Infinitely Repeated Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1591-1604, December.
  13. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  14. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "The Use of Information in Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 581-593.
  15. Arthur Zillante, 2005. "Spaced Out Monopolies: Theory and Empirics of Alternating Product Releases," Industrial Organization 0505008, EconWPA.
  16. James Andreoni & William Harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2003. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 893-902, June.
  17. Anthony M. Kwasnica & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2007. "Collusion and Equilibrium Selection in Auctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 120-145, 01.
  18. Daron Acemoglu & Matthew O. Jackson, 2011. "History, Expectations, and Leadership in Evolution of Cooperation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000106, David K. Levine.
  19. Kwasnica, Anthony M., 2000. "The choice of cooperative strategies in sealed bid auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 323-346, July.
  20. Eyal Winter & Amnon Rapoport & Darryl A. Seale, 2000. "An experimental study of coordination and learning in iterated two-market entry games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 16(3), pages 661-687.
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