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Cooperation in an Overlapping Generations Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Theo Offerman

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Jan PottersHarry A.A. Verbon

    (Tilburg University)

  • Harry A.A. Verbon

    (Tilburg University)

Abstract

Recent theoretical work shows that folk theorems can be developed for infiniteoverlapping generations games. Cooperation in such games can be sustained as aNash equilibrium. Besides the efficient cooperative equilibrium there is alsothe inefficient non-cooperative equilibrium. This paper investigatesexperimentally whether cooperation actually occurs in a simple overlappinggenerations game. Subjects both play the game and formulate full strategies. Inour base-line treatment subjects fail to exploit the intertemporal structure ofthe game. When we provide subjects with a recommendation to play a (subgameperfect) grim trigger strategy, a substantial part of the population developstrigger-like strategies. However, a remaining group of unconditional defectorsprevents the cooperative outcome to evolve.

Suggested Citation

  • Theo Offerman & Jan PottersHarry A.A. Verbon & Harry A.A. Verbon, 1999. "Cooperation in an Overlapping Generations Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-019/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:19990019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    overlapping generations; cooperation; trigger strategies; experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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