Sustaining Cooperation in Trust Games

17 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2007

See all articles by Mary L. Rigdon

Mary L. Rigdon

Rutgers University

Kevin A. McCabe

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Vernon L. Smith

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute; Chapman University School of Law

Abstract

It is well known in evolutionary game theory that population clustering in Prisoner's Dilemma games allows some cooperative strategies to invade populations of stable defecting strategies. We adapt this idea of population clustering to a two-person trust game. Without knowing it, players are typed based on their recent track record as to whether or not they are trusting (Players 1) and whether or not they are trustworthy (Players 2). They are then paired according to those types: trustors with trustworthy types, and similarly non-trustors with untrustworthy types. In the control comparisons, Players 1 are randomly repaired with Players 2 without regard to type. We ask: are there natural tendencies for people to cooperate more frequently in environments in which they experience more cooperation in comparison with controls?

Suggested Citation

Rigdon, Mary and McCabe, Kevin A. and Smith, Vernon L., Sustaining Cooperation in Trust Games. Economic Journal, Vol. 117, No. 522, pp. 991-1007, July 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=998160 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2007.02075.x

Mary Rigdon (Contact Author)

Rutgers University ( email )

Center for Cognitive Science
152 Frelinghuysen Rd., A103
Piscataway, NJ US 08854-8020
United States

HOME PAGE: http://maryrigdon.org

Kevin A. McCabe

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Vernon L. Smith

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States
714-628-2830 (Phone)

Chapman University School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States

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