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Inspired by the phenomenon where people panic buy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper studies cooperation in Prisoner’s Dilemma games. I explore relatively novel aspects of the Prisoner’s Dilemma literature, that is the effect of information signaling cooperative or noncooperative behavior on outcomes. With randomly-matched, one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma games conducted on virtually, the study looks to answer the question of how signaling information affects players’ behavior. By studying this effect, the paper hopes to contribute to the existing literature of monitoring on the Prisoner’s Dilemma game and provide some insights on possible public communication strategies to prevent panic buying, as well as other socially detrimental behaviors, mimicking the portrayal of panic buying and the pandemic in the media.

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behavioral economics, prisoner's dilemma, COVID-19, covid

COVID-19 Dilemma: Signaling Effect on Cooperative Behavior