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Reciprocity evolving: partner choice and communication in a repeated prisoner’s dilemma

Eirik Strømland (), Sigve Tjøtta () and Gaute Torsvik
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Eirik Strømland: Department of Economics, University of Bergen, Postal: P.O. 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway,

No 01/16, Working Papers in Economics from University of Bergen, Department of Economics

Abstract: Through what mechanisms do individuals enforce cooperation? In this paper, we show experimentally that partner choice by mutual consent improves cooperation compared to random matching of subjects. We find that partner choice is used to establish lasting reciprocal partnerships and thus that partner choice may be a force in the evolution of reciprocal cooperation. There is no additional impact on cooperation by allowing for both chat and partner choice. Our findings suggest that partner choice will improve cooperation in settings where ongoing group communication is infeasible, but not when there are opportunities to use large-scale communication to enforce cooperation.

Keywords: Cooperation; Partner Choice; Communication; Reciprocity; Prisoner’s Dilemma (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2016-02-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-soc
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