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Which way to cooperate

  • Kaplan, Todd
  • Ruffle, Bradley

Cooperation in real-world dilemmas takes many forms. We introduce a class of two-player games that permits two distinct ways to cooperate in the repeated game. One way to cooperate is to play cutoff strategies, which rely solely on a player's private value to defection. The second cooperative strategy is to take turns, which relies on publicly available information. Our initial experiments reveal that almost all cooperators adopt cutoff strategies. However, follow-up experiments in which the distribution of values to defection are made more similar show that all cooperators now take turns. Our results offer insight into what form a cooperative norm will take: for mundane tasks or where individuals otherwise have similar payoffs, taking turns is likely; for difficult tasks that differentiate individuals by skill or by preferences, cutoff cooperation will emerge.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 3381.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3381
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  1. Arthur Zillante, 2005. "Spaced Out Monopolies: Theory and Empirics of Alternating Product Releases," Industrial Organization 0505008, EconWPA.
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  12. James Andreoni & William T. harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2002. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-01, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 20 Aug 2002.
  13. Arthur, W Brian, 1994. "Inductive Reasoning and Bounded Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 406-11, May.
  14. Timothy N. Cason & Sau-Him Paul Lau & Vai-Lam Mui, 2011. "Learning, Teaching, and Turn Taking in the Repeated Assignment Game," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1267, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Matthew O. Jackson, 2011. "History, Expectations, and Leadership in Evolution of Cooperation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000106, David K. Levine.
  16. Jeffrey Carpenter & Stephen Burks & Lorenz Götte, 2006. "Performance Pay and the Erosion of Worker Cooperation: Field experimental evidence," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0603, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  17. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "The Use of Information in Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 581-593.
  18. repec:oup:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:1:p:255-281 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Anthony M. Kwasnica & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2007. "Collusion and Equilibrium Selection in Auctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 120-145, 01.
  20. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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