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Asymmetric Payoffs in Simultaneous and Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma Games

33 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2006  

T. K. Ahn

Florida State University - Department of Political Science

Lore Ruttan

Emory University

James M. Walker

Indiana University - Department of Economics and Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis

Myungsuk Lee

Sungkyunkwan University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 28, 2006

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Ahn, T. K. and Ruttan, Lore and Walker, James M. and Lee, Myungsuk, Asymmetric Payoffs in Simultaneous and Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma Games (August 28, 2006). CAEPR Working Paper No. 2006-003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=932675 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.932675

T. K. Ahn (Contact Author)

Florida State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Talahasse, FL 30306
United States
850-644-4540 (Phone)
850-644-4535 (Fax)

Lore Ruttan

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

James M. Walker

Indiana University - Department of Economics and Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis ( email )

Wylie Hall 105
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-855-2760 (Phone)
812-855-3736 (Fax)

Myungsuk Lee

Sungkyunkwan University - Department of Economics ( email )

110-745 Seoul
Korea

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