How Do Prisoners Solve Their Dilemma? An Experiment

24 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2015 Last revised: 15 Apr 2016

See all articles by Thorsten Chmura

Thorsten Chmura

University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Nottingham University Business School

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Markus Englerth

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: November 1, 2015

Abstract

How do actual prisoners solve their proverbial dilemma? In a lab experiment, conducted in a German prison for male juvenile offenders, we find that prisoners are no less cooperative than students in a symmetric two-person prisoner’s dilemma. Using data from post-experimental tests, we explain this behavior with efficiency seeking, while our data do not support that choices are caused by inequity aversion.

Keywords: prisoner’s dilemma, prisoner, efficiency seeking, inequity aversion

JEL Classification: C91, D03, D61, D63, H41, K14

Suggested Citation

Chmura, Thorsten and Engel, Christoph and Englerth, Markus, How Do Prisoners Solve Their Dilemma? An Experiment (November 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2698196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2698196

Thorsten Chmura

University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics ( email )

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Christoph Engel (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
+049 228 914160 (Phone)
+049 228 9141655 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/engel.html

University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO Box 1738
Rotterdam
Netherlands

Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Osnabruck, D-49069
Germany

Markus Englerth

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

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

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