Intelligence, personality, and gains from cooperation in repeated interactions

Eugenio Proto, Aldo Rustichini, Andis Sofianos

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8 Scopus citations


We study how intelligence and personality affect the outcomes of groups, focusing on repeated interactions that provide the opportunity for profitable cooperation. Our experimental method creates two groups of subjects who have different levels of certain traits, such as higher or lower levels of Intelligence, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness, but who are very similar otherwise. Intelligence has a large and positive long-run effect on cooperative behavior. The effect is strong when at the equilibrium of the repeated game there is a trade-off be-tweenshort-rungains andlong-runlosses. Conscientiousness andAgree-ableness have a natural, significant but transitory effect on cooperation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1390
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
for discussions on this and related research, especially Gary Charness, Pedro Dal Bó, Drew Fudenberg, Guillaume Fréchette, Gianluca Grimalda, John Kagel, David Levine, Marco Lambrecht, Josh Miller, Charles A. Murray, Mahnaz Nazneen, Andrew Oswald, Antonio Penta, Doris Pischedda, Louis Putterman, Carlo Reverberi, Angelo Rustichini, Andrew Shotter, Juuso Välimäki, and the participants of the National Bureau of Economic Research Economics of Culture and Institutions 2015 meeting in Boston. We thank the Center for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy and the Behavioural Science Global Research Priority for generous funding. Rustichini thanks the National Science Foundation, grant 1728056. Sofianos thanks the support of the Economic and Social Research Council (grant ES/J500203/1). We adopt the capital letter for Intelligence, Agreeableness, and so on for the technical rather than colloquial use. Data are provided as supplementary material online.

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