Multigame Contact and Cooperation (with Joao Montez, Catherine Roux, and Christian Thöni)
We present an experimental design for a laboratory experiment. We want to investigate if and how playing multiple games simultaneously affects prospects of a cooperative outcome. We study indefinitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma games. In a between subjects design, we will compare subjects playing a single game to subjects playing two games in parallel. The payoffs of the two games add up to the payoffs of the single game. We will also compare subjects playing the two games with a single partner to subjects playing the two games with two different partners. When the two games are scaled-down versions of the single game, multigame contact should not improve cooperation (Bernheim and Whinston 1990), independent of whether playing with a single partner or two different partners. However, if we divide the single game in two prisoner’s dilemmas such that cooperation is easier in one than in the other, we expect more cooperation in situations where both games are played with a single partner compared to different partners.