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Tit for Others' Tat. Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma Experiments with Third-Party Monitoring and Indirect Punishment


  • Lisa Bruttel
  • Werner G�th


Two pairs of two participants each interact repeatedly in two structurally independent but informationally linked Prisoner's Dilemma games. Neither pair receives feedback about past choices by their own partner but is fully informed about the choices by the other pair. Considering this as a four-person infinite horizon game allows for Folk-Theorem-like voluntary cooperation. We ask whether monitoring and indirect punishment with the help of others are comparable to direct monitoring and punishment in establishing and maintaining voluntary cooperation. The treatment effects we find are rather weak. Others' monitoring of own activities is only an insufficient substitute for direct observability.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Bruttel & Werner G�th, 2013. "Tit for Others' Tat. Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma Experiments with Third-Party Monitoring and Indirect Punishment," TWI Research Paper Series 85, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0085

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, "undated". "Third Party Punishment and Social Norms," IEW - Working Papers 106, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Vera Angelova & Lisa V. Bruttel & Werner Güth & Ulrich Kamecke, 2013. "Can Subgame Perfect Equilibrium Threats Foster Cooperation? An Experimental Test Of Finite-Horizon Folk Theorems," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1345-1356, April.
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    More about this item


    prisoner's dilemma; monitoring; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations


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