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Signaling and Tacit Collusion in an Infinitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma

  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr.
  • Wei Zhao
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    In the context of an infinitely repeated Prisoners.Dilemma, we explore how cooperation is initiated when players signal and coordinate through their actions. There are two types of players - patient and impatient - and a player's type is private information. An impatient type is incapable of cooperative play, while if both players are patient types - and this is common knowledge - then they can cooperate with a grim trigger strategy. We find that the longer that players have gone without cooperating, the lower is the probability that they'll cooperate in the next period. While the probability of cooperation emerging is always positive, there is a positive probability that cooperation never occurs.

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    File URL: http://econ.jhu.edu/wp-content/uploads/pdf/papers/wp587_harrington.pdf
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    Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 587.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:587
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    6. Cripps, Martin W. & Thomas, Jonathan P., 1997. "Reputation and Perfection in Repeated Common Interest Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-158, February.
    7. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
    8. Obara, Ichiro, 2009. "Folk theorem with communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 120-134, January.
    9. Mehmet Ekmekci & Alp Atakan, 2009. "Reputations with Long Run Players," 2009 Meeting Papers 220, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    11. Zheng, Bingyong, 2008. "Approximate efficiency in repeated games with correlated private signals," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 406-416, May.
    12. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2002. "Collusion in Dynamic Bertrand Oligopoly with Correlated Private Signals and Communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 229-248, January.
    13. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    14. Makoto Hanazono & Huanxing Yang, 2007. "Collusion, Fluctuating Demand, And Price Rigidity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 483-515, 05.
    15. repec:dgr:kubcen:199485 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1997. "Private observation and Communication and Collusion," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1256, David K. Levine.
    17. Sylvain Chassang, 2010. "Building Routines: Learning, Cooperation, and the Dynamics of Incomplete Relational Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 448-65, March.
    18. Cripps, Martin W. & Dekel, Eddie & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 2005. "Reputation with equal discounting in repeated games with strictly conflicting interests," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 259-272, April.
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