The Absent-Minded Prisoner

Posted: 16 May 2007

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If one of two rational players is absent-minded for at least three rounds, cooperation in a prisoners' dilemma with a finite number of repetitions is possible. If both players are absent-minded, even two rounds of absent-mindedness can be enough for cooperation in these rounds and all rounds before. Sufficient conditions for the existence of a cooperative equilibrium are derived, a plausible interpretation of absent-mindedness in the case of many repetitions is given.

Keywords: Absent-mindedness, Prisoners' dilemma, Repeated games

JEL Classification: C72

Suggested Citation

Dilger, Alexander, The Absent-Minded Prisoner. Spanish Economic Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 301-315, 2006. Available at SSRN:

Alexander Dilger (Contact Author)

University of Münster ( email )

Institute for Organisational Economics
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