Observability of Partners’ Past Play and Cooperation: Experimental Evidence

ISER DP No. 1145

39 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2021

See all articles by Kenju Kamei

Kenju Kamei

Keio University - Faculty of Economics

Hajime Kobayashi

Kansai University - Faculty of Economics

Tiffany Tsz Kwan Tse

Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research

Date Written: October 25, 2021

Abstract

The observability of partners’ past play is known to theoretically improve cooperation in an infinitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma game under random matching. This paper presents evidence from an incentivized experiment that reputational information per se may not improve cooperation. A structural estimation suggests that a certain percentage of players act according to the “Always Defect” strategy, whether or not the reputational information is available. The remaining players adopt available cooperative strategies: specifically, the tit-for-tat strategy when reputational information is not available, and a strategy that conditions on the matched partner’s past play when reputational information is available.

Keywords: experiment, cooperation, infinitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma game, reputation

JEL Classification: C92, C73, D70

Suggested Citation

Kamei, Kenju and Kobayashi, Hajime and Tse, Tiffany Tsz Kwan, Observability of Partners’ Past Play and Cooperation: Experimental Evidence (October 25, 2021). ISER DP No. 1145, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3949215 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3949215

Kenju Kamei (Contact Author)

Keio University - Faculty of Economics ( email )

2-15-45 Mita, Ninato-ku
Tokyo 1088345
Japan

Hajime Kobayashi

Kansai University - Faculty of Economics ( email )

3-3-35 Yamatecho
Suita, Osaka, 564-8680
Japan

Tiffany Tsz Kwan Tse

Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research ( email )

6-1, Mihogaoka
Suita, Osaka 567-0047
Japan

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