Gary Magee (Monash University) on "The Prisoner’s Dilemma: An (Un)natural Experiment from Nazi Germany"

Speaker:  Gary Magee - Monash University
  Monday, February 1, 2016 at 12:30 PM Polo Santa Marta, Via Cantarane 24, Stanza 1.59
This paper uses the court records of a sample of individuals, aged between 15 and 62, tried for high treason in Nazi Germany to analyse a rare, real-world prisoner's-dilemma-like scenario that resisters faced once taken into custody: keep quiet and protect their collaborators or turn informant in the hope of obtaining leniency. We find that, although self-interest and defection to the authorities was the norm for most, significant rates of cooperation remained. We also find evidence that the size of the stake, age, education, beliefs, affiliations, and sense of community could play roles in facilitating cooperative behavior.

Programme Director
Federico Perali

Publication date
November 13, 2015