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Cooperation in Symmetric and Asymmetric Prisoner's Dilemma Games

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Beckenkamp

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Heike Hennig-Schmidt

    () (Laboratory for Experimental Economics, University of Bonn)

  • Frank P. Maier-Rigaud

    () (Laboratory for Experimental Economics, University of Bonn, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)

Abstract

We experimentally study the effect of asymmetry on cooperation in a 40 period prisoner's dilemma game in fixed partner design. We distinguish between a high and low payoff symmetric prisoner's dilemma and an asymmetric game combined out of both symmetric ones. Asymmetry significantly decreases cooperation, as low-type players are more likely to defect after mutual cooperation while high-type players initiate cooperation more often than the former. Asymmetry also has a significant negative effect on the stability of cooperation rendering long sequences of mutual cooperation extremely rare.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Beckenkamp & Heike Hennig-Schmidt & Frank P. Maier-Rigaud, 2007. "Cooperation in Symmetric and Asymmetric Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2006_25, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2006_25
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yasushi Asako & Yukihiko Funaki & Kozo Ueda & Nobuyuki Uto, 2016. "Symmetric Information Bubbles: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 1613, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.
    2. Philipp E. Otto & Friedel Bolle, 2016. "Organizational power: Should remuneration heterogeneity mirror hierarchy?," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 20(3), pages 187-205, September.
    3. repec:oup:jcomle:v:4:y:2008:i:1:p:89-113. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dasgupta Utteeyo, 2011. "Are Entry Threats Always Credible?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-41, December.
    5. Robert Finger & Anna Borer, 2013. "Cooperative Management of a Traditional Irrigation System in the Swiss Alps," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, January.
    6. Fischer, Christian & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2018. "Collusion and bargaining in asymmetric cournot duopoly: An experiment," DICE Discussion Papers 283, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    7. Sailesh Gunessee, 2010. "Strategic Tax Competition: An Experimental Study," Public Finance Review, , vol. 38(2), pages 217-243, March.
    8. Philipp C. Wichardt, 2012. "Norms, cognitive dissonance, and cooperative behaviour in laboratory experiments," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 342-356, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Symmetry; Asymmetry; Prisoner's Dilemma; Experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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