Public Choice

, Volume 132, Issue 3, pp 353–366

Asymmetric payoffs in simultaneous and sequential prisoner’s dilemma games

  • T. K. Ahn
  • Myungsuk Lee
  • Lore Ruttan
  • James Walker

DOI: 10.1007/s11127-007-9158-9

Cite this article as:
Ahn, T.K., Lee, M., Ruttan, L. et al. Public Choice (2007) 132: 353. doi:10.1007/s11127-007-9158-9


We investigate the role of payoff asymmetry in laboratory prisoner’s dilemma games. Symmetric and asymmetric games are examined in simultaneous and sequential settings. In the asymmetric sequential games, we study the impact of having payoff advantaged players moving either first or second. Asymmetry reduces the rates of cooperation in simultaneous games. In sequential games, asymmetry interacts with order of play such that the rate of cooperation is highest when payoff disadvantaged players move first.


CooperationPrisoner’s dilemmaHeterogeneity

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. K. Ahn
    • 1
  • Myungsuk Lee
    • 2
  • Lore Ruttan
    • 3
  • James Walker
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Public AdministrationKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Graduate School of GovernanceSung Kyun Kwan UniversitySeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of Environmental StudiesEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA