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The study in this paper investigates the use of (single-hop) cooperative medium access control (MAC) protocols in multi-hop radio networks. The objective is to assess whether the cooperative MAC protocols available in literature can improve performance in multi-hop ad hoc networks. A simulation based comparison is carried out in order to evaluate the potential performance gains and other benefits. The comparison is purposefully carried out over static and pre-computed routes to capture the full magnitude of the potential gains brought about by the cooperative MAC protocols, regardless of the routing protocol in use. Results indicate that performance gains are highly dependent on the type of cooperative MAC protocol adopted.