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Revisiting Strategic versus Non-Strategic Cooperation

  • Reuben, Ernesto

    ()

    (Columbia University)

  • Suetens, Sigrid

    ()

    (Tilburg University)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4107.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Experimental Economics, 2012, 15 (1), 24-43
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4107
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