Building rational cooperation on their own: Learning to start small
James Andreoni (),
Michael Kuhn () and
Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2019, vol. 21, issue 5, 812-825
We report experimental results for a twice‐played prisoners' dilemma in which the players can choose the allocation of the stakes across the two periods. Our point of departure is the assumption that some (but not all) people are willing to cooperate, as long as their opponent is sufficiently likely to do so. The presence of such types can be exploited to enhance cooperation by structuring the twice‐played prisoners' dilemma to “start small,” so that the second‐stage stakes are larger (but not too much larger) than the first‐stage stakes. We compare conditions where the allocation of stakes is chosen exogenously to conditions where it is chosen by the players themselves. We show that players gravitate toward the payoff‐maximizing strategy of starting small in a twice‐played prisoners' dilemma. Intriguingly, the salutary payoff effects of doing so are larger than those that arise when the same allocation is exogenously chosen.
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:21:y:2019:i:5:p:812-825
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... bs.asp?ref=1097-3923
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Public Economic Theory is currently edited by Rabah Amir, Gareth Myles and Myrna Wooders
More articles in Journal of Public Economic Theory from Association for Public Economic Theory Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().