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A Course in Microeconomic Theory$
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David M. Kreps

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691202754

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691202754.001.0001

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Repeated play: Cooperation and reputation

Repeated play: Cooperation and reputation

(p.502) (p.503) Chapter Fourteen Repeated play: Cooperation and reputation
A Course in Microeconomic Theory

David M. Kreps


This chapter reviews the concepts of cooperation and reputation. It begins by looking at the game called the prisoners' dilemma. The basic structure of options and payoffs that characterize this game occur over and over in economics. In this basic structure, players can cooperate to greater or to lesser extent. If one player unilaterally decreases the lever of their cooperation, they benefit and their rival is made worse off. But if both decrease their level of cooperation equally, both are made worse off. The chapter then considers repeated games and reflects on variations of the general notion of a supergame, wherein a particular game called the stage game is played over and over by two (or more) players.

Keywords:   cooperation, reputation, prisoners' dilemma, economics, repeated games, supergame, stage game

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