The Dilemma of Prisoners

  title={The Dilemma of Prisoners},
  author={P. Grossman},
  journal={Journal of Conflict Resolution},
  pages={43 - 55}
  • P. Grossman
  • Published 1994
  • Economics
  • Journal of Conflict Resolution
Stalin's Great Terror was one of history's most massive political purges. In its form, the Terror resembled a one-shot, n-person prisoner's dilemma game. Although the Terror could not have been sustained if prisoners cooperated, most prisoners defected against one another, as the model would predict. Yet the record of the Terror also demonstrated that in a mass purge there exists a wider strategy set than that of the prisoner's dilemma game. Using an illustrative case and a generalized model of… Expand
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