IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hrv/faseco/11923167.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who cooperates in repeated games: The role of altruism, inequity aversion, and demographics

Author

Listed:
  • Dreber-Almenberg, Anna
  • Fudenberg, Drew
  • Rand, David G.

Abstract

We explore the extent to which altruism, as measured by giving in a dictator game (DG), accounts for play in a noisy version of the repeated prisoner's dilemma. We find that DG giving is correlated with cooperation in the repeated game when no cooperative equilibria exist, but not when cooperation is an equilibrium. Furthermore, none of the commonly observed strategies are better explained by inequity aversion or efficiency concerns than money maximization. Various survey questions provide additional evidence for the relative unimportance of social preferences. We conclude that cooperation in repeated games is primarily motivated by long-term payoff maximization and that even though some subjects may have other goals, this does not seem to be the key determinant of how play varies with the parameters of the repeated game. In particular, altruism does not seem to be a major source of the observed diversity of play.

Suggested Citation

  • Dreber-Almenberg, Anna & Fudenberg, Drew & Rand, David G., 2014. "Who cooperates in repeated games: The role of altruism, inequity aversion, and demographics," Scholarly Articles 11923167, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:11923167
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/11923167/135496/who_cooperates_in_repeated_games.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Brandts, Jordi & Sola, Carles, 2001. "Reference Points and Negative Reciprocity in Simple Sequential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 138-157, August.
    5. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
    6. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
    7. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
    8. John Horton & David Rand & Richard Zeckhauser, 2011. "The online laboratory: conducting experiments in a real labor market," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 399-425, September.
    9. Axel Franzen & Sonja Pointner, 2013. "The external validity of giving in the dictator game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-169, June.
    10. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2008. "Revealed Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 31-69, January.
    11. John A. List, 2006. "The Behavioralist Meets the Market: Measuring Social Preferences and Reputation Effects in Actual Transactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-37, February.
    12. Anna Dreber & Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson & David Rand, 2013. "Do people care about social context? Framing effects in dictator games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 349-371, September.
    13. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K, 1993. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 523-545, May.
    14. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kröger & Arthur van Soest, 2008. "Measuring Inequity Aversion in a Heterogeneous Population Using Experimental Decisions and Subjective Probabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(4), pages 815-839, July.
    15. Jeffrey Carpenter & Cristina Connolly & Caitlin Myers, 2008. "Altruistic behavior in a representative dictator experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 282-298, September.
    16. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Mollerstrom, Johanna & Munkhammar, Sara, 2012. "Social framing effects: Preferences or beliefs?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 117-130.
    17. Anna Dreber & David G. Rand & Drew Fudenberg & Martin A. Nowak, 2008. "Winners don’t punish," Nature, Nature, vol. 452(7185), pages 348-351, March.
    18. Matthias Benz & Stephan Meier, 2008. "Do people behave in experiments as in the field?—evidence from donations," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 268-281, September.
    19. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & J�rgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, "undated". "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experiments into representative surveys," IEW - Working Papers 141, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    20. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2009. "Dynamic psychological games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 1-35, January.
    21. Ulrich Kamecke, 1997. "note: Rotations: Matching Schemes that Efficiently Preserve the Best Reply Structure of a One Shot Game," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 26(3), pages 409-417.
    22. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans Theo, 2011. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 321-338, June.
    23. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    24. Paola Sapienza & Anna Toldra‐Simats & Luigi Zingales, 2013. "Understanding Trust," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1313-1332, December.
    25. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    26. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 2012. "Fairness, risk preferences and independence: Impossibility theorems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 606-612.
    27. Gary E Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 2005. "Fair Procedures: Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 1054-1076, October.
    28. Houser, Daniel & Vetter, Stefan & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Fairness and cheating," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1645-1655.
    29. Ernesto Reuben & Sigrid Suetens, 2012. "Revisiting strategic versus non-strategic cooperation," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(1), pages 24-43, March.
    30. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2010. "On inequity aversion: A reply to Binmore and Shaked," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 101-108, January.
    31. Engelmann, Dirk, 2012. "How not to extend models of inequality aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 599-605.
    32. 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.
    33. 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.
    34. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
    35. Drew Fudenberg & David G. Rand & Anna Dreber, 2012. "Slow to Anger and Fast to Forgive: Cooperation in an Uncertain World," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 720-749, April.
    36. Ofra Amir & David G Rand & Ya'akov Kobi Gal, 2012. "Economic Games on the Internet: The Effect of $1 Stakes," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 7(2), pages 1-4, February.
    37. repec:lmu:muenar:19376 is not listed on IDEAS
    38. Binmore, Ken & Shaked, Avner, 2010. "Experimental Economics: Where Next? Rejoinder," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 120-121, January.
    39. Pedro Dal Bó & Guillaume R. Fréchette, 2019. "Strategy Choice in the Infinitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(11), pages 3929-3952, November.
    40. Michal Krawczyk & Fabrice Le Lec, 2010. "‘Give me a chance!’ An experiment in social decision under risk," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(4), pages 500-511, December.
    41. Pedro Dal Bo & Guillaume R. Frochette, 2011. "The Evolution of Cooperation in Infinitely Repeated Games: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 411-429, February.
    42. Binmore, Ken & Shaked, Avner, 2010. "Experimental economics: Where next?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 87-100, January.
    43. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
    44. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    45. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Matteo M. Galizzi & Daniel Navarro-Martinez, 2019. "On the External Validity of Social Preference Games: A Systematic Lab-Field Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(3), pages 976-1002, March.
    2. Pelligra, Vittorio & Stanca, Luca, 2013. "To give or not to give? Equity, efficiency and altruistic behavior in an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-9.
    3. Yang, Yang & Onderstal, Sander & Schram, Arthur, 2016. "Inequity aversion revisited," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 1-16.
    4. Sebastian J. Goerg & David Rand & Gari Walkowitz, 2020. "Framing effects in the prisoner’s dilemma but not in the dictator game," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 6(1), pages 1-12, June.
    5. Alexander Peysakhovich & David G. Rand, 2016. "Habits of Virtue: Creating Norms of Cooperation and Defection in the Laboratory," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(3), pages 631-647, March.
    6. Bartling, Björn & Grieder, Manuel & Zehnder, Christian, 2017. "Competitive pricing reduces wasteful counterproductive behaviors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 34-47.
    7. Breitmoser, Yves & Vorjohann, Pauline, 2018. "Welfare-Based Altruism," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 89, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    8. Orhun, A. Yeşim, 2018. "Perceived motives and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 436-451.
    9. Thorsten Chmura & Christoph Engel & Markus Englerth, 2013. "Selfishness As a Potential Cause of Crime. A Prison Experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    10. Erik O. Kimbrough & Alexander Vostroknutov, 2016. "Norms Make Preferences Social," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 608-638, June.
    11. Bartling Björn & Grieder Manuel & Zehnder Christian, 2014. "Does competition justify inequality?," ECON - Working Papers 158, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Nov 2015.
    12. Walkowitz, Gari, 2017. "On the Validity of Cost-Saving Methods in Dictator-Game Experiments: A Systematic Test," MPRA Paper 83309, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Walkowitz, Gari, 2019. "On the Validity of Probabilistic (and Cost-Saving) Incentives in Dictator Games: A Systematic Test," MPRA Paper 91541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Jeannette Brosig-Koch & Thomas Riechmann & Joachim Weimann, 2017. "The dynamics of behavior in modified dictator games," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(4), pages 1-18, April.
    15. Miettinen, Topi & Kosfeld, Michael & Fehr, Ernst & Weibull, Jörgen, 2020. "Revealed preferences in a sequential prisoners’ dilemma: A horse-race between six utility functions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 1-25.
    16. Elena Cettolin & Arno Riedl & Giang Tran, 2017. "Giving in the face of risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 95-118, December.
    17. Walkowitz, Gari, 2021. "Dictator game variants with probabilistic (and cost-saving) payoffs: A systematic test," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    18. Crawford, Ian & Harris, Donna, 2018. "Social interactions and the influence of “extremists”," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 238-266.
    19. Eckel, Catherine & Gintis, Herbert, 2010. "Blaming the messenger: Notes on the current state of experimental economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 109-119, January.
    20. Breitmoser, Yves & Vorjohann, Pauline, 2022. "Fairness-based Altruism," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 666, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:11923167. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deharus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Office for Scholarly Communication (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deharus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.