Asymmetric Payoffs in Simultaneous and Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma Games
33 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2006
Date Written: August 28, 2006
We investigate the role of payoff asymmetry in laboratory prisoner's dilemma games. Symmetric and Asymmetric games are examined in simultaneous and sequential settings. In the asymmetric/sequential games, we study the impact of having payoff advantaged players moving either first or second. Asymmetry reduces the rates of cooperation in simultaneous games. In sequential games, asymmetry interacts with order of play such that the rate of cooperation is highest when payoff disadvantaged players move first. The presence of an exit option increases cooperation by the players who choose to play the game when payoffs are symmetric, or when payoffs are asymmetric and the payoff disadvantaged player moves first.
Keywords: cooperation, prisoner's dilemma, heterogeneity, exit option
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