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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. James Andreoni & William Harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2003. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 893-902, June.
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  12. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  16. Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A. & Winter, Eyal, 2002. "Coordination and Learning Behavior in Large Groups with Asymmetric Players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 111-136, April.
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  18. David P. Myatt, 2000. "The New Theory of Strategic Voting," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1586, Econometric Society.
  19. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2006. "Overcoming Incentive Constraints? The (In-)effectiveness of Social Interaction," Working Paper Series in Economics 22, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  20. David P. Myatt, 2007. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 255-281.
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