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Revealed reputations in the finitely-repeated prisoners’ dilemma.

Cox, C. A. and Jones, M. T. and Pflum, K. E. and Healy, P. J. (2015) 'Revealed reputations in the finitely-repeated prisoners’ dilemma.', Economic theory., 58 (3). pp. 441-484.


In a sequential-move, finitely repeated prisoners’ dilemma game (FRPD), cooperation can be sustained if the first-mover believes her opponent might be a behavioral type who plays a tit-for-tat strategy in every period. We test this theory by revealing second-mover histories from an earlier FRPD experiment to their current opponent. Despite eliminating the possibility of reputation-building, aggregate cooperation actually increases when histories are revealed. Cooperative histories lead to increased trust, but negative histories do not cause decreased trust. We develop a behavioral model to explain these findings.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Prisoners’ dilemma, Finitely-repeated games, Cooperation, Reputation-building.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:The final publication is available at Springer via
Date accepted:27 January 2015
Date deposited:03 February 2015
Date of first online publication:14 February 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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