Time to Defect: Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma Experiments with Uncertain Horizon

29 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2007

See all articles by Lisa Bruttel

Lisa Bruttel

Humboldt University of Berlin

Werner Güth

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; Luiss Guido Carli University

Ulrich Kamecke

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics

Date Written: December 4, 2007

Abstract

Using a symmetric 2-person prisoners' dilemma as the base game, each player receives a signal for the number of rounds to be played with the same partner. The actual number of rounds (the length of the supergame) is determined by the maximal signal where each player expects the other's signal to be smaller, respectively larger, by a fixed number of rounds with 50% probability. In the tradition of Folk Theorems we show that both, mutual defection and mutual cooperation until the individually perceived last round, are subgame perfect equilibrium outcomes. We find experimental evidence that many players do in fact cooperate beyond their individual signal peri

Keywords: Prisoners¿ dilemma, Continuation probability, Uncertainty, Experiment

JEL Classification: C91, D82, D84

Suggested Citation

Bruttel, Lisa and Güth, Werner and Kamecke, Ulrich, Time to Defect: Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma Experiments with Uncertain Horizon (December 4, 2007). Jena Economic Research Paper No. 2007-098, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1053921 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1053921

Lisa Bruttel (Contact Author)

Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )

Unter den Linden 6
Berlin, AK Berlin 10099
Germany

Werner Güth

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Luiss Guido Carli University ( email )

Via O. Tommasini 1
Rome, Roma 00100
Italy

Ulrich Kamecke

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Spandauer Strasse 1
D-10178 Berlin
Germany
(49)-(30)-2093 5785 (Phone)
(49)-(39)-2093 5787 (Fax)

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