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Evidence of homo economicus? Findings from experiment on evolutionary prisoners' dilemma game

Author

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  • Pradiptyo, Rimawan
  • Sasmitasiwi, Banoon
  • Sahadewo, Gumilang Aryo

Abstract

This paper aims to analyze subjects’ behavior in an experiment on evolutionary process of prisoners’ dilemma game. The experiment has been designed by using sixteen one-shot prisoners’ dilemma games with payoffs perturbation and random matching players under perfect information. The subjects of the experiment were students and staff in Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. In contrast to previous studies, for instance Selten and Stoecker’s (1986) Cooper’s, et.al (1991, 1996), the majority of the subjects in this experiment tend to choose Nash equilibrium strategy consistently from the first game. The result showed that the proportion of the Nash equilibrium outcome was consistently in the range of 85%-88%, whereas the tacit cooperation or Pareto optimum outcome was about 1%-2%. There were evidence that payoffs perturbation influences players’ decision. In contrast to the previous studies above, the results from this study revealed that the vast majority of the subjects tend to choose the dominant strategy as prescribed in Game Theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Pradiptyo, Rimawan & Sasmitasiwi, Banoon & Sahadewo, Gumilang Aryo, 2011. "Evidence of homo economicus? Findings from experiment on evolutionary prisoners' dilemma game," MPRA Paper 30480, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30480
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/30480/1/MPRA_paper_30480.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romp, Graham, 1997. "Game Theory: Introduction and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198775027.
    2. Cooper, Russell & DeJong, Douglas V. & Forsythe, Robert & Ross, Thomas W., 1996. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 187-218, February.
    3. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1989. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 588-593, June.
    4. Brosig, Jeannette, 2002. "Identifying cooperative behavior: some experimental results in a prisoner's dilemma game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 275-290, March.
    5. Hofbauer, Josef & Sandholm, William H., 2007. "Evolution in games with randomly disturbed payoffs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 47-69, January.
    6. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    7. Yoella Bereby-Meyer & Alvin E. Roth, 2006. "The Speed of Learning in Noisy Games: Partial Reinforcement and the Sustainability of Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1029-1042, September.
    8. Jonathan Bendor & Roderick M. Kramer & Suzanne Stout, 1991. "When in Doubt..," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 35(4), pages 691-719, December.
    9. Ahn, T K & Ostrom, Elinor & Shupp, Robert & Walker, James, 2001. "Cooperation in PD Games: Fear, Greed, and History of Play," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 106(1-2), pages 137-155, January.
    10. Holt, Charles A, 1986. "Preference Reversals and the Independence Axiom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 508-515, June.
    11. Jonathan Bendor, 1993. "Uncertainty and the Evolution of Cooperation," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 37(4), pages 709-734, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prisoners' dilemma; experiment; random-matching players; payoffs perturbation; framing effect;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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