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Cooperative Strategies in Groups of Strangers: An Experiment

  • Gabriele Camera
  • Marco Casari
  • Maria Bigoni

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.

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Paper provided by Purdue University, Department of Economics in its series Purdue University Economics Working Papers with number 1237.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1237
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Web page: http://www.krannert.purdue.edu/programs/phd

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  1. 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.
  2. Jim Engle-Warnick & Robert L. Slonim, 2001. "Inferring Repeated Game Strategies From Actions: Evidence From Trust Game Experiments," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2006. "Cooperative Behavior and the Frequency of Social Interaction," Working Papers 274, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
  4. Spagnolo, Giancarlo & Blonski, Matthias, 2001. "Prisoners' Other Dilemma," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 437, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 20 Feb 2001.
  5. 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 147-56, February.
  6. 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.
  7. 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, 05.
  8. 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 164-92, August.
  9. 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 15-2004, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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