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Cooperative Strategies in Groups of Strangers: An Experiment

Author

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  • Gabriele Camera
  • Marco Casari
  • Maria Bigoni

Abstract

We study cooperation in four-person economies of indefinite duration. Subjects interact anonymously playing a prisoner’s dilemma. We identify and characterize the strategies employed at the aggregate and at the individual level. We find that (i) grim trigger well describes aggregate play, but not individual play; (ii) individual behavior is persistently heterogeneous; (iii) coordination on cooperative strategies does not improve with experience; (iv) systematic defection does not crowd-out systematic cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari & Maria Bigoni, 2010. "Cooperative Strategies in Groups of Strangers: An Experiment," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1237, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1237
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    File URL: http://www.krannert.purdue.edu/programs/phd/Working-papers-series/2010/1237.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jim Engle-Warnick & Robert Slonim, 2006. "Inferring repeated-game strategies from actions: evidence from trust game experiments," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(3), pages 603-632, August.
    2. El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Grether, David M., 1995. "Are People Bayesian? Uncovering Behavioral Strategies," Working Papers 919, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    3. Matthias Blonski & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2015. "Prisoners’ other Dilemma," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 44(1), pages 61-81, February.
    4. Daniel Houser & Michael Keane & Kevin McCabe, 2004. "Behavior in a Dynamic Decision Problem: An Analysis of Experimental Evidence Using a Bayesian Type Classification Algorithm," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 781-822, May.
    5. Offerman, Theo & Potters, Jan & Verbon, Harrie A. A., 2001. "Cooperation in an Overlapping Generations Experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 264-275, August.
    6. ENGLE-WARNICK, Jim & McCAUSLAND, William J. & MILLER, John H., 2004. "The Ghost in the Machine: Inferring Machine-Based Strategies from Observed Behavior," Cahiers de recherche 2004-11, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    7. Matthias Blonski & Peter Ockenfels & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2011. "Equilibrium Selection in the Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma: Axiomatic Approach and Experimental Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 164-192, August.
    8. Aoyagi, Masaki & Fréchette, Guillaume, 2009. "Collusion as public monitoring becomes noisy: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1135-1165, May.
    9. Duffy, John & Ochs, Jack, 2009. "Cooperative behavior and the frequency of social interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 785-812, July.
    10. Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari, 2009. "Cooperation among Strangers under the Shadow of the Future," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 979-1005, June.
    11. Friedman, James W, 1979. "Non-Cooperative Equilibria for Exit Supergames," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(1), pages 147-156, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Drew Fudenberg & David G. Rand & Anna Dreber, 2012. "Slow to Anger and Fast to Forgive: Cooperation in an Uncertain World," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 720-749, April.
    2. Luciana Cecilia Moscoso Boedo & Lucia Quesada & Marcela Tarazona, 2013. "Cooperation among Strangers in the Presence of Defectors: An Experimental Study," Working papers DTE 567, CIDE, División de Economía.
    3. Bigoni, Maria & Camera, Gabriele & Casari, Marco, 2013. "Strategies of cooperation and punishment among students and clerical workers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 172-182.
    4. Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari, 2014. "The Coordination Value of Monetary Exchange: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 290-314, February.
    5. G. Camera & M. Casari, 2015. "Monitoring institutions in indefinitely repeated games," Working Papers wp1046, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Lisa Bruttel & Ulrich Kamecke, 2012. "Infinity in the lab. How do people play repeated games?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 205-219, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    repeated games; equilibrium selection; prisoners’ dilemma; random matching;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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