Teamwork makes the dream work – Healthcare Economist

An interesting article by Cooper and Kegel (2023) in AEJ: Microeconomics finds that the use of teams (rather than individuals) in the the prisoner’s dilemma A game is more likely to result in the choice to cooperate than if individuals were playing with each other.

We compared the behavior of two-person teams with individuals in indefinitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma games with perfect monitoring. Team discussions are used to understand the rationale for these choices and how they arise. There are three main findings: (i) Teams learned to cooperate faster than individuals and cooperation was more stable for teams. (ii) Strategies identified from team dialogues differ from those identified by the Strategy Frequency Estimation Method. This reflects the improvised nature of teams’ decision making. (iii) The increase in cooperation was driven primarily by teams cooperating unilaterally in the hope of inducing their opponent to cooperate.

You can read the full article. here.

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