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Determinants of Successful Cooperation in a Face-to-Face Social Dilemma

  • Grätz, Silvia
  • Darai, Donja

What makes you a successful cooperator? Using data from the British television game show ``Golden Balls'' we analyze a prisoner's dilemma game and its pre-play. We find that players strategically select their partner for the PD, e.g., they bear in mind whether contestants lied. Players' expectations about the stake size strongly influence the outcome of the PD: The lower the stakes, the more likely players successfully cooperate. Most interestingly, unilateral cooperation is encouraged by mutually promising not to defect and shaking hands on it, but a mere handshake serves as manipulating device and increases successful defection.

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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/48702/1/VfS_2011_pid_96.pdf
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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis with number 48702.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc11:48702
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. Rutstrom, E. Elisabet & Williams, Melonie B., 2000. "Entitlements and fairness:: an experimental study of distributive preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 75-89, September.
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  3. John A. List, 2006. "Friend or Foe? A Natural Experiment of the Prisoner's Dilemma," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 463-471, August.
  4. Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Testing Theories of Discrimination: Evidence from "Weakest Link"," NBER Working Papers 9449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Joel Waldfogel & Matthew W. White, 2010. "Friend or Foe? Cooperation and Learning in High-Stakes Games," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 179-187, February.
  6. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
  7. repec:dgr:kubcen:200812 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
  9. Belot, Michèle & Bhaskar, V. & van de Ven, Jeroen, 2010. "Promises and cooperation: Evidence from a TV game show," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 396-405, March.
  10. Martijn J. van den Assem & Dennie van Dolder & Richard H. Thaler, 2012. "Split or Steal? Cooperative Behavior When the Stakes Are Large," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(1), pages 2-20, January.
  11. Scharlemann, Jorn P. W. & Eckel, Catherine C. & Kacelnik, Alex & Wilson, Rick K., 2001. "The value of a smile: Game theory with a human face," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 617-640, October.
  12. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
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