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Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study

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  • Vincent P. Crawford
  • Miguel A. Costa-Gomes

Abstract

This paper reports an experiment that elicits subjects? initial responses to 16 dominance-solvable two-person guessing games. The structure is publicly announced except for varying payoff parameters, to which subjects are given free access. Varying the parameters allows very strong separation of the behavior implied by leading decision rules. Subjects? decisions and searches show that most subjects understood the games and sought to maximize payoffs, but many had simplified models of others? decisions that led to systematic deviations from equilibrium. The predictable component of their deviations is well explained by a structural nonequilibrium model of initial responses based on level-k thinking. (JEL C72, C92, D83)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1737-1768

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:5:p:1737-1768

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.5.1737
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  1. Brit Grosskopf & Rosemarie Nagel, 2007. "Rational reasoning or adaptive behavior? Evidence from two-person beauty contest games," Economics Working Papers 1068, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2004. "Fatal Attraction: Focality, Naivete, and Sophistication in Experimental Hide-and-Seek Games," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000345, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Kübler, Dorothea & Weizsäcker, Georg, 2000. "Limited depth of reasoning and failure of cascade formation in the laboratory," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,3, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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  5. Crawford, Vincent P., 2001. "Lying for Strategic Advantage: Rational and Boundedly Rational Misrepresentation of Intentions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6k65014s, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. Jorgen W Weibull, 2004. "Testing Game Theory," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000181, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Selten, Reinhard, . "Features of Experimentally Observed Bounded Rationality," Discussion Paper Serie B 421, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Nov 1997.
  8. Ho, Teck Hua & Weigelt, Keith & Camerer, Colin, 1996. "Iterated Dominance and Iterated Best-Response in Experimental P-Beauty Contests," Working Papers 974, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  9. Harless, David W. & Camerer, Colin F., 1995. "An error rate analysis of experimental data testing Nash refinements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 649-660, April.
  10. Johnson, Eric J. & Camerer, Colin & Sen, Sankar & Rymon, Talia, 2002. "Detecting Failures of Backward Induction: Monitoring Information Search in Sequential Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 16-47, May.
  11. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P. & Broseta, Bruno, 1998. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1vn4h7x5, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  12. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
  13. T. Randolph Beard & Richard O. Beil, 1994. "Do People Rely on the Self-Interested Maximization of Others? An Experimental Test," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(2), pages 252-262, February.
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  15. Dale O. Stahl & Paul W. Wilson, 2010. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 542, David K. Levine.
  16. Dorothea K¸bler & Georg Weizs”cker, 2004. "Limited Depth of Reasoning and Failure of Cascade Formation in the Laboratory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 425-441, 04.
  17. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Boundedly Rational Rule Learning in a Guessing Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 303-330, October.
  18. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  19. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1993. "Experimental Results on Interactive Competitive Guessing," Discussion Paper Serie B 236, University of Bonn, Germany.
  20. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  21. Holt, Debra J., 1999. "An Empirical Model of Strategic Choice with an Application to Coordination Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 86-105, April.
  22. Johnson, Eric J. & Camerer, Colin & Sen, Sankar & Rymon, Talia, 1998. "Detecting Failures of Backward Induction: Monitoring Information Search in Sequential Bargaining," Working Papers 1040, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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