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Voluntary Cooperation Based on Equilibrium Retribution - An Experiment Testing Finite-Horizon Folk Theorems

  • Lisa V. Bruttel

    ()

    (University of Konstanz, Department of Economics)

  • Werner Güth

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • Ulrich Kamecke

    ()

    (Humboldt-University Berlin, Department of Business and Economics)

  • Vera Popova

    ()

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)

Unlike previous attempts to implement cooperation in a prisoners' dilemma game with an infinite horizon in the laboratory, we focus on extended prisoners' dilemma games in which a second (pure strategy) equilibrium allows for voluntary cooperation in all but the last round. Our four main experimental treatments distinguish long versus short horizon and strict versus non-strict additional equilibrium compared to the control treatment, a standard prisoners' dilemma. Quite surprisingly, according to our results, only a strict additional equilibrium increases cooperation rate for a given time horizon. As expected a longer time horizon promotes cooperation.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2009-030.

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Date of creation: 21 Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-030
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