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Strategic ignorance in repeated prisoners’ dilemma experiments and its effects on the dynamics of voluntary cooperation

  • Being ignorant of key aspects of a strategic interaction can represent an advantage rather than a handicap. We study one particular context in which ignorance can be beneficial: iterated strategic interactions in which voluntary cooperation may be sustained into the final round if players voluntarily forego knowledge about the time horizon. We experimentally examine this option to remain ignorant about the time horizon in a finitely repeated two-person prisoners’ dilemma game. We confirm that pairs without horizon knowledge avoid the drop in cooperation that otherwise occurs toward the end of the game. However, this effect is superposed by cooperation declining more rapidly in pairs without horizon knowledge during the middle phase of the game, especially if players do not know that the other player also wanted to remain ignorant of the time horizon.

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Metadaten
Author:Lisa BruttelGND, Simon Felgendreher, Werner GüthORCiDGND, Ralph HertwigORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-431881
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-43188
ISSN:2628-653X
Parent Title (German):CEPA Discussion Papers
Series (Serial Number):CEPA Discussion Papers (10)
Document Type:Working Paper
Language:German
Date of first Publication:2019/08/05
Year of Completion:2019
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2019/08/05
Tag:cooperation; experiment; prisoners' dilemma; strategic ignorance
Issue:10
Pagenumber:30
RVK - Regensburg Classification:QC 020, QC 010
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Zentrale und wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen / Center for Economic Policy Analysis (CEPA)
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
JEL Classification:C Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / C9 Design of Experiments / C91 Laboratory, Individual Behavior
D Microeconomics / D8 Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty / D83 Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
D Microeconomics / D8 Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty / D89 Other
Peer Review:Nicht referiert
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht