EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Speed of Learning in Noisy Games: Partial Reinforcement and the Sustainability of Cooperation

Yoella Bereby-Meyer and Alvin Roth ()

American Economic Review, 2006, vol. 96, issue 4, 1029-1042

Abstract: In an experiment, players? ability to learn to cooperate in the repeated prisoner?s dilemma was substantially diminished when the payoffs were noisy, even though players could monitor one another?s past actions perfectly. In contrast, in one-time play against a succession of opponents, noisy payoffs increased cooperation, by slowing the rate at which cooperation decays. These observations are consistent with the robust observation from the psychology literature that partial reinforcement (adding randomness to the link between an action and its consequences while holding expected payoffs constant) slows learning. This effect is magnified in the repeated game: when others are slow to learn to cooperate, the benefits of cooperation are reduced, which further hampers cooperation. These results show that a small change in the payoff environment, which changes the speed of individual learning, can have a large effect on collective behavior. And they show that there may be interesting comparative dynamics that can be derived from careful attention to the fact that at least some economic behavior is learned from experience. (JEL C71, C72, C73, D83)

Date: 2006
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.4.1029
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (49) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.96.4.1029 (application/pdf)
http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/sept06/20030187_data.zip (application/zip)
Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

Related works:
Working Paper: The Speed of Learning in Noisy Games: Partial Reinforcement and the Sustainability of Cooperation (2006) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:4:p:1029-1042

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
https://www.aeaweb.org/journals/subscriptions

Access Statistics for this article

American Economic Review is currently edited by Esther Duflo

More articles in American Economic Review from American Economic Association Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Michael P. Albert ().

 
Page updated 2019-08-20
Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:4:p:1029-1042