Voluntary versus mandatory information disclosure in the sequential prisoner’s dilemma

Georg Kirchsteiger, Tom Lenaerts, Rémi Suchon

Onderzoeksoutput: Articlepeer review


In sequential social dilemmas with stranger matching, initiating cooperation is inherently risky for the first mover. The disclosure of the second mover’s past actions may be necessary to instigate cooperation. We experimentally compare the effect of mandatory and voluntary disclosure with non-disclosure in a sequential prisoner’s dilemma situation. Our results confirm the positive effects of disclosure on cooperation. We also find that voluntary disclosure is as effective as mandatory disclosure, which runs counter to the results of existing literature on this topic. With voluntary disclosure, second movers who have a good track record chose to disclose, suggesting that they anticipate non-disclosure would signal non-cooperativeness. First movers interpret non-disclosure correctly as a signal of non-cooperativeness. Therefore, they cooperate less than half as often when the second mover decides not to disclose.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's50
TijdschriftEconomic Theory
StatusPublished - 6 apr 2024

Bibliografische nota

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2024.


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