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It's the thought that counts: The role of intentions in noisy repeated games

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  • Rand, David Gertler
  • Fudenberg, Drew
  • Dreber, Anna

Abstract

We examine cooperation in repeated interactions where intended actions are implemented with noise but intentions are perfectly observable. Observable intentions lead to more cooperation compared to control games where intentions are unobserved, allowing subjects to reach similar cooperation levels as in games without noise. Most subjects condition exclusively on intentions, and use simpler, lower-memory strategies compared to games where intentions are unobservable. When the returns to cooperation are high, some subjects are tolerant, using good outcomes to forgive attempted defections; when the returns to cooperation are low, some subjects are punitive, using bad outcomes to punish accidental defections.

Suggested Citation

  • Rand, David Gertler & Fudenberg, Drew & Dreber, Anna, 2015. "It's the thought that counts: The role of intentions in noisy repeated games," Scholarly Articles 27304431, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:27304431
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    1. repec:eee:joepsy:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:61-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:soceco:v:73:y:2018:i:c:p:11-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Persson, Emil, 2016. "Frustration and Anger in Games: A First Empirical Test of the Theory," Working Papers in Economics 647, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:132-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9494-z is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:jeborg:v:158:y:2019:i:c:p:428-448 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Friehe, Tim & Utikal, Verena, 2018. "Intentions under cover – Hiding intentions is considered unfair," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 11-21.
    8. Masaki Aoyagi & V. Bhaskar & Guillaume R. Fréchette, 2019. "The Impact of Monitoring in Infinitely Repeated Games: Perfect, Public, and Private," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 1-43, February.
    9. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:726-743 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:435-448 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Mitsuhiro Nakamura & Hisashi Ohtsuki, 2016. "Optimal Decision Rules in Repeated Games Where Players Infer an Opponent’s Mind via Simplified Belief Calculation," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-23, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General

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