This paper investigates cooperative play in prisoner's dilemma games by designing an experiment to evaluate the ability of two leading theories of observed cooperation: reputation building and altruism. We analyze both one-shot and finitely repeated games to gauge the importance of these theories. We conclude that neither altruism nor reputation building alone can explain our observations. The reputation model is inconsistent with play in both one-shots and finitely repeated games while the model with altruism is unable to explain observed play in the finitely repeated games. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Numbers: C72, C92.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics