Cooperation in viscous populations - experimental evidence

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Grimm V, Mengel F
Journal: Games and Economic Behavior
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2009
Volume: 66
Journal issue: 1
Pages range: 202–220
ISSN: 0899-8256
Language: English


We experimentally investigate the effect of population viscosity (an increased probability to interact with others of one's type or group) on cooperation in a standard prisoner's dilemma environment. Subjects can repeatedly choose between two groups that differ in the defector gain in the associated prisoner's dilemma. Choosing into the group with the smaller defector-gain can signal one's willingness to cooperate. We find that viscosity produces an endogenous sorting of cooperators and defectors and persistently high rates of cooperation. Higher viscosity leads to a sharp increase in overall cooperation rates and in addition positively affects the subjects' preferences for cooperation.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Grimm, Veronika Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Wirtschaftstheorie

External institutions with authors

University of Nottingham

How to cite

Grimm, V., & Mengel, F. (2009). Cooperation in viscous populations - experimental evidence. Games and Economic Behavior, 66(1), 202–220.

Grimm, Veronika, and Friederike Mengel. "Cooperation in viscous populations - experimental evidence." Games and Economic Behavior 66.1 (2009): 202–220.


Last updated on 2018-13-07 at 12:10