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Revisiting Strategic versus Non-Strategic Cooperation

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  • Reuben, Ernesto

    (New York University, Abu Dhabi)

  • Suetens, Sigrid

    (Tilburg University)

Abstract

We use a novel experimental design to disentangle strategically- and non-strategically-motivated cooperation. By using contingent responses in a repeated sequential prisoners' dilemma with a known probabilistic end, we differentiate end-game behavior from continuation behavior within individuals while controlling for expectations. This design allows us to determine the extent to which strategically-cooperating individuals are responsible for the so-called end-game effect. Experiments with two different subject pools indicate that the most common motive for cooperation in repeated games is strategic and that the extent to which end-game effects are driven by strategically-cooperating individuals depends on the profitability of cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Reuben, Ernesto & Suetens, Sigrid, 2009. "Revisiting Strategic versus Non-Strategic Cooperation," IZA Discussion Papers 4107, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4107
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    strong reciprocity; strategic cooperation; conditional cooperation; reputation building;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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