Cooperation in Symmetric and Asymmetric Prisoner's Dilemma Games

39 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2007

See all articles by Martin Beckenkamp

Martin Beckenkamp

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Heike Hennig‐Schmidt

University of Bonn - Laboratory for Experimental Economics

Frank P. Maier-Rigaud

ABC economics; IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS), Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods

Date Written: 3/2007

Abstract

We experimentally study the effect of asymmetry on cooperation in a 40 period prisoner's dilemma game in fixed partner design. We distinguish between a high and low payoff symmetric prisoner's dilemma and an asymmetric game combined out of both symmetric ones. Asymmetry significantly decreases cooperation, as low-type players are more likely to defect after mutual cooperation while high-type players initiate cooperation more often than the former. Asymmetry also has a significant negative effect on the stability of cooperation rendering long sequences of mutual cooperation extremely rare.

Keywords: Symmetry, Asymmetry, Prisoner's Dilemma, Experiments

JEL Classification: C81, D70, C91

Suggested Citation

Beckenkamp, Martin and Henning-Schmidt, Heike and Maier-Rigaud, Frank P., Cooperation in Symmetric and Asymmetric Prisoner's Dilemma Games (3/2007). MPI Collective Goods Preprint No. 2006/25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=968942 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.968942

Martin Beckenkamp (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

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

Heike Henning-Schmidt

University of Bonn - Laboratory for Experimental Economics ( email )

Adenauerallee 24-42
Bonn, 53113
Germany

Frank P. Maier-Rigaud

ABC economics ( email )

Berlin, 10115
Germany
10115 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ABCecon.com

IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS), Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods ( email )

Socle de la Grande Arche
1 Parvis de la Défense
Paris, La Défense Cedex, 92044
France

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