Internal Reinforcement of Cooperative Outcomes: Evidence from Virtual Worlds

20 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2014 Last revised: 20 Nov 2014

See all articles by Robert Cavender

Robert Cavender

Gettysburg College - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 19, 2014

Abstract

Whereas game-theoretic experiments take place in an equilibrium framework in which meaningful change can come from outside observers, the real world is not so fortunate. This paper provides an empirical example of how real people, when given the sufficient time and space not usually afforded in laboratory settings, can and do internally develop institutions that act to change the game-theoretic payoffs they face in order to reinforce cooperative outcomes absent outside intervention. To do so I first introduce virtual reality as an empirical platform for economic analysis and draw on the largely yet-untapped realm of virtual online computer games.

Keywords: Emergent Order, Institutions, Law and Economics

JEL Classification: O17, K

Suggested Citation

Cavender, Robert, Internal Reinforcement of Cooperative Outcomes: Evidence from Virtual Worlds (November 19, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2503732 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2503732

Robert Cavender (Contact Author)

Gettysburg College - Department of Economics ( email )

300 North Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
United States
(717) 337-6670 (Phone)

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