School of Economics and Finance

No. 727: Aspects of Behavior in Repeated Games: An Experimental Study

Douglas Davis , Virginia Commonwealth University
Asen Ivanov , Queen Mary University of London
Oleg Korenok , Virginia Commonwealth University

October 24, 2014

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We introduce a novel approach to studying behavior in repeated games - one that is based on the psychology of play. Our approach is based on the following six "aspects" of a player's behavior: round-1 cooperation, lenience, forgiveness, loyalty, leadership, and following. Using a laboratory experiment, we explore how aspects are correlated between each other in a given repeated game, how they are correlated with behavior at various histories in a given repeated game, and how each aspect is correlated across different repeated games. We also investigate whether two players' aspects from a given repeated game tend to predict the frequency of the cooperate-cooperate outcome if these two players are matched to play either the same kind of repeated game or an altogether different repeated game. An important feature of our study is that it addresses the question of cross-game prediction.

J.E.L classification codes: C92, D03, D70

Keywords:Repeated games, Prisoner's dilemma, Experiment, Cooperation