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Experiment-inspired comments on John Roemer’s theory of cooperation

Antoni Bosch-Domènech and Joaquim Silvestre

Review of Social Economy, 2019, vol. 77, issue 1, 69-89

Abstract: We report on a nonsocial experiment where we find that all participants choose the dominant strategy in the experimental payoff, and compare it with the payoff-isomorphic, but social, Prisoner’s Dilemma treatment presented in a recent paper by Bosch-Domènech and Silvestre where 28% choose cooperation instead of the dominant strategy. The contrast reinforces Roemer’s emphasis on human cooperation. Next, we argue that Roemer’s Simple Kantian Equilibrium works well as a theory of cooperation under the assumption of monotonicity (positive or negative externalities), but not when efficient cooperation requires the division of labor by coordinating dissimilar tasks.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2018.1562200

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