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Reciprocity evolving: partner choice and communication in a repeated prisoner’s dilemma

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Abstract

Through what mechanisms do individuals enforce cooperation? In this paper, we show experimentally that partner choice by mutual consent improves cooperation compared to random matching of subjects. We find that partner choice is used to establish lasting reciprocal partnerships and thus that partner choice may be a force in the evolution of reciprocal cooperation. There is no additional impact on cooperation by allowing for both chat and partner choice. Our findings suggest that partner choice will improve cooperation in settings where ongoing group communication is infeasible, but not when there are opportunities to use large-scale communication to enforce cooperation.

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  • Strømland, Eirik & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2016. "Reciprocity evolving: partner choice and communication in a repeated prisoner’s dilemma," Working Papers in Economics 01/16, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2016_001
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    Keywords

    Cooperation; Partner Choice; Communication; Reciprocity; Prisoner’s Dilemma;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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