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Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games

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  • Richard Mckelvey

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  • Thomas Palfrey

    ()

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    Abstract

    This article investigates the use of standard econometric models for quantal choice to study equilibria of extensive form games. Players make choices based on a quantal-choice model and assume other players do so as well. We define an agent quantal response equilibrium (AQRE), which applies QRE to the agent normal form of an extensive form game and imposes a statistical version of sequential rationality. We also define a parametric specification, called logit-AQRE, in which quantal-choice probabilities are given by logit response functions. AQRE makes predictions that contradict the invariance principle in systematic ways. We show that these predictions match up with some experimental findings by Schotter et al. (1994) about the play of games that differ only with respect to inessential transformations of the extensive form. The logit-AQRE also implies a unique selection from the set of sequential equilibria in generic extensive form games. We examine data from signaling game experiments by Banks et al. (1994) and Brandts and Holt (1993). We find that the logit-AQRE selection applied to these games succeeds in predicting patterns of behavior observed in these experiments, even when our prediction conflicts with more standard equilibrium refinements, such as the intuitive criterion. We also reexamine data from the McKelvey and Palfrey (1992) centipede experiment and find that the AQRE model can account for behavior that had previously been explained in terms of altruistic behavior. Copyright Economic Science Association 1998

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1009905800005
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

    Volume (Year): 1 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 1 (June)
    Pages: 9-41

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:1:y:1998:i:1:p:9-41

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

    Related research

    Keywords: game theory; experimental economics; quantal response equilibrium;

    References

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    1. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1992. "An Experimental Test of Equilibrium Dominance in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1350-65, December.
    2. Cooper, Russell, et al, 1990. "Selection Criteria in Coordination Games: Some Experimental Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 218-33, March.
    3. Chen, Hsiao-Chi & Friedman, James W. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1997. "Boundedly Rational Nash Equilibrium: A Probabilistic Choice Approach," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 32-54, January.
    4. McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1992. "An Experimental Study of the Centipede Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 803-36, July.
    5. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    6. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1993. "Adjustment Patterns and Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Signaling Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 279-302.
    7. E. Kohlberg & J.-F. Mertens, 1998. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 445, David K. Levine.
    8. Rosenthal, Robert W, 1989. "A Bounded-Rationality Approach to the Study of Noncooperative Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 273-91.
    9. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith & Wilson, Charles, 1990. "A Laboratory Investigation Of Multi-Person Rationality And Presentation Effects," Working Papers 90-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    10. Simon P. Anderson & Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 1998. "Rent Seeking with Bounded Rationality: An Analysis of the All-Pay Auction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 828-853, August.
    11. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
    12. repec:att:wimass:9325 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, January.
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