Revisiting strategic versus non-strategic cooperation

E. Reuben, S. Suetens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a novel experimental method that disentangles strategically- and non-strategically-motivated behavior. We apply it to an indefinitely-repeated prisoner’s dilemma game to observe simultaneously how the same individual behaves in situations with future interaction and in situations with no future interaction, while controlling for expectations. This method allows us to determine the extent to which strategically-cooperating individuals are responsible for the observed pattern of cooperation in experiments with repeated interaction, including the so-called endgame effect. Our results indicate that the most common motive for cooperation in repeated games is strategic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-43
JournalExperimental Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Repeated games
  • Cooperation
  • Reputation building
  • Strong reciprocity


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