School of Economics and Finance

No. 728: Individual Characteristics and 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 27, 2014

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Using a laboratory experiment, we investigate whether a variety of behaviors in repeated games are related to an array of individual characteristics that are popular in economics: risk attitude, time preference, trust, trustworthiness, altruism, strategic skills in one-shot matrix games, compliance with first-order stochastic dominance, ability to plan ahead, and gender. We do find some systematic relationships. A subject's patience, gender, altruism, and compliance with first-order stochastic dominance have some limited systematic effects on her behavior in repeated games. At the level of a pair of subjects who are playing a repeated game, each subject's patience, gender, and ability to choose an available dominant strategy in a one-shot matrix game systematically affect the frequency of the cooperate-cooperate outcome. However, overall, the number of systematic relationships is surprisingly small.

J.E.L classification codes: C91, C92, D03, D70

Keywords:Experiment, Repeated game, Individual characteristics