Which Way to Cooperate

Todd R. Kaplan, Bradley J. Ruffle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a two-player, binary-choice game in which both players have a privately known incentive to enter, yet the combined surplus is highest if only one enters. Repetition of this game admits two distinct ways to cooperate: turn taking and cutoffs, which rely on the player's private value to entry. A series of experiments highlights the role of private information in determining which mode players adopt. If an individual's entry values vary little (e.g. mundane tasks), taking turns is likely; if these potential values are diverse (e.g. difficult tasks that differentiate individuals by skill or preferences), cutoff cooperation emerges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1068
Number of pages27
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number563
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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