<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Two co-conspiratorial criminals are arrested. When they are taken to the police station, they refuse to say anything and are put in separate interrogation rooms. Eventually, a police officer enters the room where Prisoner A is being held and says: “You know what? Your partner in the other room is confessing. So your partner is going to get a light prison sentence of just one year, and because you’re remaining silent, the judge is going to stick you with eight years in prison. Why don’t you get smart? If you confess, too, we’ll cut your jail time down to five years, and your partner will get five years, also.” Over in the next room, another police officer is giving exactly the same speech to Prisoner B. What the police officers do not say is that if both prisoners remain silent, the evidence against them is not especially strong, and the prisoners will end up with only two years in jail each.

The game theory situation facing the two prisoners is shown in [link] . To understand the dilemma, first consider the choices from Prisoner A’s point of view. If A believes that B will confess, then A ought to confess, too, so as to not get stuck with the eight years in prison. But if A believes that B will not confess, then A will be tempted to act selfishly and confess, so as to serve only one year. The key point is that A has an incentive to confess regardless of what choice B makes! B faces the same set of choices, and thus will have an incentive to confess regardless of what choice A makes. Confess is considered the dominant strategy or the strategy an individual (or firm) will pursue regardless of the other individual’s (or firm’s) decision. The result is that if prisoners pursue their own self-interest, both are likely to confess, and end up doing a total of 10 years of jail time between them.

The prisoner’s dilemma problem
Prisoner B
Remain Silent (cooperate with other prisoner) Confess (do not cooperate with other prisoner)
Prisoner A Remain Silent (cooperate with other prisoner) A gets 2 years, B gets 2 years A gets 8 years, B gets 1 year
Confess (do not cooperate with other prisoner) A gets 1 year, B gets 8 years A gets 5 years B gets 5 years

The game is called a dilemma because if the two prisoners had cooperated by both remaining silent, they would only have had to serve a total of four years of jail time between them. If the two prisoners can work out some way of cooperating so that neither one will confess, they will both be better off than if they each follow their own individual self-interest, which in this case leads straight into longer jail terms.

The oligopoly version of the prisoner’s dilemma

The members of an oligopoly can face a prisoner’s dilemma, also. If each of the oligopolists cooperates in holding down output, then high monopoly profits are possible. Each oligopolist, however, must worry that while it is holding down output, other firms are taking advantage of the high price by raising output and earning higher profits. [link] shows the prisoner’s dilemma for a two-firm oligopoly—known as a duopoly    . If Firms A and B both agree to hold down output, they are acting together as a monopoly and will each earn $1,000 in profits. However, both firms’ dominant strategy is to increase output, in which case each will earn $400 in profits.

Questions & Answers

what is medium
Chinedu Reply
what is medium in terms of economics
Chinedu
as u mean medium of exchange or just as a word
rivan
What is the difference between inferior goods and complementary goods
Bernard Reply
inferior goods are goods whose demand reduces as consumers income increases
rivan
while complementary goods are goods which are jointly demand
rivan
Wow thanks
Bernard
you are welcome
rivan
define the term derived demand
rivan Reply
The Market equilibrium quantity is___ tons of bolts, the socailly optimal quantity of bolt production is ____ tons
Jackie Reply
please what are the key principles of Economics?
Amoako
how to learn about stock exchange market?
jason Reply
how to get to clearly know about BSE and NSE
jason
hiii
santosh
hii
Leela
hlo
Peter
i wanna know about ppf
Peter
Me too
Teremi
Search in web,
Leela
search in website
Leela
Search in web,
Leela
BSE means Bombay stock exchange,and NSE national stock exchange
Leela
What are the uses stastitics in business?
Mohamud Reply
what's scarcity
Brandon Reply
scarcity is the stage at which your end becomes greater than your want.
Caasianebok
what is marginal rate of transformation
Peter Reply
difference between individual demand and market demand with illustrations.
kwagala Reply
what is market demand
kwagala
Is the total amount of goods and services that all consumers are willing and able to purchase...
Istar
market demad business
zahid
What is the different between demand and supply?
Mohamud Reply
Demand is a natural phenomenon by a person who wants a certain commodity , u can say The ablity to buy a certain commodity at a certain price is called demand
Wardan
supply is point of view from Supplier of certain commodity
Wardan
Thnks wardan sheikh
Mohamud
u can get help from Law of Demand which is When a price of certain commodity increases it's quantity demanded decreases and when the price of certain commodity decreases it's quantity demanded increases and vice versa
Wardan
and to understand supply u can understand by the help of law of supply which is when a price of certain commodity increases it's quantity supplies also increases and when price of certain commodity decreases it's quantity supplies also decreases and vice versa
Wardan
Hope u got the answer
Wardan
hi
Christian
hello
Victory
what is point?
Asmatullah
pls it's quantity supplied not quantity supplies. tanx
PETER
Peter it's just typing error if u know better u should take initiatives and start helping people or u can just shut up
Wardan
What is the labour market?
Ruchi
Ruchi Shukla it's a big topic which contains several parts , u can understand a market where there are number of employees (skilled and semiskilled )
Wardan
describe the economic systems
kivumbi
ryt nice
Destiny
what is the cause of a country's population
Destiny
Destiny Abekah the cause Is fun ahahahaha
Wardan
Hi
Crahmaan
What is going here?
Crahmaan
Hi
Jacob
what is naxion shoks any 1 can explain please
Iftikhar
hello
Hydrammeh
impact of transport and communication for economic help me
Jacob
according to me supply is the amount of goods and services that a seller is prepared to offer at a given prior of time while demand is the amount of goods and services that a consumer is enable and willing to pay at a given period of time ..... according to my understanding
rivan
What is the formula for calculating elasticity
Destiny Reply
Change in Quantity/Change in price
Abdul
ok
Destiny
E=%∆ in Q/ %∆ in P
ashafa
what mean elasticity
Jimcaale
change in quantity divided by change in price
mukhtaar
ok
Abdul
price elasticity = Q2-Q1/Q2+Q1/2/ P2-P1/P2+P1/2
Wardan
second formula is change in q / change in p × Q(original)/ p (original)
Wardan
Elasticity is just a measurement of change influenced by change in price , income
Wardan
change quantity /change in price
Ayaan
ok
Muhammad
change in price change in quality
Muhammad
yes
Thomas
calculations are mob eg cross elasticity,relevate n others mob which do u mean
rivan
public economy vs public choice
martha Reply
cool n you
Godwin
nice
Saratu
thank God
Destiny
so wat is going on
Destiny
please understand change in demand.
Saratu
learning is going on please.
Saratu
demand changes when the price of the commodies in the market increaaes
Destiny
amd vise veser
Destiny
thank you.
Saratu
same to u
Destiny
I need help with PED and PES
XORO Reply
Price elasticity demand
Saratu
price elasticity supply
Saratu
What are the uses of stastitics in economic and business?
Mohamud Reply
Statistics helps in analysing various economic problems such as inflation, unemployment etc by looking at numbers, trends over the years.
Samuel
it also helps in summarising mass data like income, consumption etc into measures like per capita income and per capita consumptions which are more explanatory of how an economy is performing.
Samuel
Statistics is a data interpretation tool used for collecting, classifying and analyzing data. It is an indispensable tool for an economist to understand various business and economic problems and formulate policies to tackle with them.
Samuel
good answer
Destiny
how is the firm know elasticity
Shekwonudiza Reply
What is margin?
Crahmaan

Get the best Principles of economics course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Principles of economics' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask