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International Journal of Game Theory

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 187–195 | Cite as

A note on uncertainty and cooperation in a finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma

  • L. Samuelson
Article

Abstract

An intuitive expectation is that in a finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma, the players will achieve mutual cooperation in at least some periods. Existing explanations for equilibrium cooperation (with agents perfectly informed of one another's characteristics) require that the number of repetitions be unknown, which is in many cases an uncomfortably strong uncertainty assertion. This paper demonstrates that if agents have private information concerning the number of repetitions (as opposed to being completely uninformed), equilibrium mutual cooperation can occur in a finitely repeated game. This appears to be a weaker and more palatable assumption then that of complete uncertainty, and hence provides a natural and useful alternative foundation for mutual cooperation.

Keywords

Economic Theory Game Theory Private Information Mutual Cooperation Intuitive Expectation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Samuelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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