Split or Steal? Cooperative Behavior When the Stakes Are Large

  title={Split or Steal? Cooperative Behavior When the Stakes Are Large},
  author={Martijn J. van den Assem and Dennie van Dolder and Richard H. Thaler},
  journal={Behavioral \& Experimental Finance (Editor's Choice) eJournal},
We examine cooperative behavior when large sums of money are at stake, using data from the television game show Golden Balls. At the end of each episode, contestants play a variant on the classic prisoner's dilemma for large and widely ranging stakes averaging over $20,000. Cooperation is surprisingly high for amounts that would normally be considered consequential but look tiny in their current context, what we call a “big peanuts” phenomenon. Utilizing the prior interaction among contestants… 
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