Perceived Harmony, Similarity and Cooperation in 2 x 2 Games: An Experimental Study

Oct 2003 | 176

Authors: Daniel John Zizzo, Jonathan H.W. Tan, Institute of Microeconomics, European University Viadrina

Game harmony is a generic game property describing how conflictual or non-conflictual the interests of players are. Simple and general game harmony measures can predict mean cooperation in 2 x 2 games such as the Prisoner`s Dilemma, the Chicken and trust games. Two measures can be simply computed from monetary payoffs; another, the similarity index, can also be justified by theories of similarity-based reasoning. When data from Oxford and Frankfurt-Oder are disaggregated across experiments, countries and learning history, and when the similarity index is a valid measure, parsimonious regressions can explain around half of the variance in mean cooperation rates.

JEL Codes: C72, C91, H41

Keywords: game harmony, cooperation, similarity, 2 x 2 games, Prisoner`s Dilemma

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