Social Preferences in the Public Arena: Evidence from a Prisoner's Dilemma Game on a TV Show

34 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2006

See all articles by Michèle Belot

Michèle Belot

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine

V. Bhaskar

University College London

Jeroen van de Ven

University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: April 23, 2007

Abstract

We analyze a large stakes prisoner's dilemma game played on a TV show. Players cooperate 40% of the time, demonstrating that social preferences are important; however, cooperation is significantly below the 50% threshold that is required for inequity aversion to sustain cooperation. Women cooperate significantly more than men, while players who have earned more of the stake cooperate less. A player's promise to cooperate is also a good predictor of his decision. Surprisingly, a player's probability of cooperation is unrelated to the opponent's characteristics or promise. We argue that inequity aversion alone cannot adequately explain these results; reputational concerns in a public setting might be more important.

Keywords: prisoner's dilemma, social preferences, inequity aversion, cheap talk, gender differences

JEL Classification: C72, C93, D64

Suggested Citation

Belot, Michèle V. K. and Bhaskar, V. and van de Ven, Jeroen, Social Preferences in the Public Arena: Evidence from a Prisoner's Dilemma Game on a TV Show (April 23, 2007). Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2006-15, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=950523 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.950523

Michèle V. K. Belot

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine ( email )

New Road
Oxford, OX1 1NF
United Kingdom

V. Bhaskar

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London
United Kingdom

Jeroen Van de Ven (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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