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Time to Defect: Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma Experiments with Uncertain Horizon

Author

Listed:
  • Lisa Bruttel

    () (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Business and Economics)

  • Werner Güth

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group, Jena, Germany)

  • Ulrich Kamecke

    () (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Business and Economics)

Abstract

Using a symmetric 2-person prisoners' dilemma as the base game, each player receives a signal for the number of rounds to be played with the same partner. The actual number of rounds (the length of the supergame) is determined by the maximal signal where each player expects the other's signal to be smaller, respectively larger, by a fixed number of rounds with 50% probability. In the tradition of Folk Theorems we show that both, mutual defection and mutual cooperation until the individually perceived last round, are subgame perfect equilibrium outcomes. We find experimental evidence that many players do in fact cooperate beyond their individual signal period.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Bruttel & Werner Güth & Ulrich Kamecke, 2007. "Time to Defect: Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma Experiments with Uncertain Horizon," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-098, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-098
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    File URL: http://zs.thulb.uni-jena.de/receive/jportal_jparticle_00083607
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabian Winter, 2013. "Fairness norms can explain the emergence of specific cooperation norms in the Battle of the Prisoners Dilemma," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-016, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prisoners' dilemma; Continuation probability; Uncertainty; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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