Cooperation in experimental games of strategic complements and substitutes

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Abstract

We conduct a laboratory experiment aimed at examining whether strategic substitutability and strategic complementarity have an impact on the tendency to cooperate in finitely repeated two player games with a Pareto-inefficient Nash equilibrium. We find that there is significantly more
cooperation when actions exhibit strategic complementarities than in the case of strategic substitutes.
The difference is to some extent driven by a difference in the speed with which some pairs reach stable full cooperation, but mainly by differences in choices of pairs that do not succeed in reaching full cooperation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1147
JournalReview of Economic Studies
Volume76
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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