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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Experimental games
Strategic complements
Strategic complementarity
Strategic substitutes
Pareto
Substitutability
Nash equilibrium
Laboratory experiments

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title = "Cooperation in experimental games of strategic complements and substitutes",
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 morecooperation 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.",
author = "J.J.M. Potters and S. Suetens",
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journal = "Review of Economic Studies",
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Cooperation in experimental games of strategic complements and substitutes. / Potters, J.J.M.; Suetens, S.

In: Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 76, No. 3, 2009, p. 1125-1147.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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N2 - 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 morecooperation 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.

AB - 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 morecooperation 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.

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