prisoner's dilemma

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Prisoner's Dilemma

A classic problem in game theory. In the problem, two suspects are arrested and questioned separately by police. If one accuses the other while the other remains silent, the accuser will go free and the silent party will go to jail for 10 years. If each accuses the other, both go to prison for five years. If both remain silent, they only go to jail for one year. According to the dilemma, the rational response for each of the prisoners is to accuse the other (maximizing the possibility each will go free), even though this produces an irrational result (that both go to jail for five years).

The prisoner's dilemma is used to explain a variety of economic and political phenomena when all parties involved are self-interested, rational and have imperfect information. For example, two companies may compete for a promising employee. They offer increasingly attractive salaries. If one company gives up, the other company will take the employee. So both quite rationally increase the offers. This however could produce the irrational result that a new employee is paid too highly. The prisoner's dilemma seeks to explain why rational actions sometimes lead to irrational conclusions.

prisoner's dilemma

see GAME THEORY.
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This counterintuitive possibility can be illustrated by a simple game-theoretic model--the oft-invoked prisoners' dilemma.
2]) in round r of the repeated weak extended prisoners' dilemma (EPD) game is compatible with a subgame perfect equilibrium if and only if r [greater than or equal to] 3, or r = 2 and ([a.
First, for some values of the asymmetry parameter, although entry occurs in equilibrium, the incumbents do not face a prisoners' dilemma.
In fact, a larger prisoners' dilemma looms: lf societies follow the moral dictates of their religion, metaphorically turning the other cheek to defectors, they are sure to get overtaken by the more aggressive, thus killing potential social contracts in their cradles.
The N-player Prisoners' Dilemma game can be defined by the following three properties:
Volumes have been written about the prisoners' dilemma because it focuses on what is lost when participants cannot communicate.
Ideally, good leaders will achieve the group unity necessary to overcome the prisoners' dilemma by reaching cooperative agreements with other groups and their leaders, and then implementing and enforcing those agreements.
But what about the basic idea from game theory that we can improve efficiency if we overcome the prisoners' dilemma in a cooperative approach?
According to Jasay, "the theory of the State, with strong consent to its authority, continues to be reproduced on the basis of a prisoners' dilemma whose social significance seems to shrink remarkably under an analytical stare" (43).
As in the logic (some might say illogic) of the prisoners' dilemma and tit-for-tat games once used to describe the theory of nuclear deterrence, neither the magnanimity nor the fears of the human spirit play a role in this book's equation.
Consider the game called the Prisoners' Dilemma, which has been the subject of thousands of experiments and theoretical investigations in social science, psychology, and economics since it was invented in the early 1950s.
For him, the analyses that underlie such accounts, whether set in the state of nature, behind the veil of ignorance, or in the shadow of the prisoners' dilemma, are just happy fictions designed to hide an unhappy truth: "States are an imposition, sometimes useful, sometimes a millstone, always costly, never legitimate, and never a necessity for binding agreements" (p.