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Cooperation in Symmetric and Asymmetric Prisoner's Dilemma Games

Martin Beckenkamp (), Heike Hennig-Schmidt and Frank Maier-Rigaud ()
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Martin Beckenkamp: Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn

No 2006_25, Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods from Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Abstract: We experimentally study the effect of asymmetry on cooperation in a 40 period prisoner's dilemma game in fixed partner design. We distinguish between a high and low payoff symmetric prisoner's dilemma and an asymmetric game combined out of both symmetric ones. Asymmetry significantly decreases cooperation, as low-type players are more likely to defect after mutual cooperation while high-type players initiate cooperation more often than the former. Asymmetry also has a significant negative effect on the stability of cooperation rendering long sequences of mutual cooperation extremely rare.

Keywords: Symmetry; Asymmetry; Prisoner's Dilemma; Experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C81 D70 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42 pages
Date: 2007-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-gth
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