Instrumental reciprocity as an error

Ernesto Reuben, Sigrid Suetens

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We study the strategies used by experimental subjects in repeated sequential prisoners’ dilemma games to identify the underlying motivations behind instrumental reciprocity, that is, reciprocation of cooperation only if there is future interaction. Importantly, we designed the games so that instrumental reciprocity is a mistake for payoff-maximizing individuals irrespective of their beliefs. We find that, despite the fact that instrumental reciprocity is suboptimal, it is one of the most frequently used cooperative strategies. Moreover, although the use of instrumental reciprocity is sensitive to the costs of deviating from the payoff-maximizing strategy, these costs alone cannot explain the high frequency with which subjects choose to reciprocate instrumentally.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number66
    JournalGames
    Volume9
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 6 2018

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    Reciprocity
    Costs
    Prisoner's Dilemma Game
    Choose
    Game
    Interaction
    Strategy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Statistics and Probability
    • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
    • Applied Mathematics

    Cite this

    Reuben, E., & Suetens, S. (2018). Instrumental reciprocity as an error. Games, 9(3), [66]. https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030066

    Instrumental reciprocity as an error. / Reuben, Ernesto; Suetens, Sigrid.

    In: Games, Vol. 9, No. 3, 66, 06.09.2018.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Reuben, E & Suetens, S 2018, 'Instrumental reciprocity as an error', Games, vol. 9, no. 3, 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030066
    Reuben, Ernesto ; Suetens, Sigrid. / Instrumental reciprocity as an error. In: Games. 2018 ; Vol. 9, No. 3.
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