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Communication, coordination and competition in the beauty contest game: Eleven classroom experiments

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  • Virtudes Alba-Fernández
  • Pablo Brañas-Garza
  • Francisca Jiménez-Jiménez
  • Javier Rodero-Cosano

    ()

Abstract

This paper introduces some new features in the standard experimental design of the beauty contest in order to allow communication among participants. With that aim, we use the mode instead of the mean and non-rival payoffs. This design encourages students to communicate their guessed number, with a higher probability if subjects know the 0 Nash equilibrium. The lack of communication can only be explained by subjects endowed with competitive other-regarding preferences. Experiments are run in 11 classrooms ranging from 11 to 60 students in size. Participants are given at least one week to submit their guesses and a questionnaire explaining their choice. Results indicate that: i) communication induces coordination in the responses, ii) communication does not guarantee any improvement in the average reasoning level, iii) there exist significative differences according to classroom size and duration of degree.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Social Syudies of Andalusia - Higher Council for Scientific Research in its series IESA Working Papers Series with number 0416.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:esa:iesawp:0416

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Web page: http://www.d-andalucia.csic.es/iesa.htm
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Keywords: Beauty Contest Games; Experiments; Communication; Coordination; Competition; Meta-analysis;

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  1. Duffy, John & Nagel, Rosemarie, 1997. "On the Robustness of Behaviour in Experimental "Beauty Contest" Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1684-1700, November.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Virtudes Alba-Fernández & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Francisca Jiménez-Jiménez & Javier Rodero-Cosano, 2004. "Teaching Nash Equilibrium and Dominance: A Classroom Experiment on the Beauty Contest," IESA Working Papers Series 0413, Institute for Social Syudies of Andalusia - Higher Council for Scientific Research.
  4. Weber, Roberto & Camerer, Colin F. & Knez, Marc, 1996. "The Illusion of Leadership," Working Papers 992, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  6. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2004. "The Decision Maker Matters: Individual versus Group Behaviour in Experimental Beauty-Contest Games," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-09, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  7. Ho, Teck-Hua & Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1998. "Iterated Dominance and Iterated Best Response in Experimental "p-Beauty Contests."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 947-69, September.
  8. Rapoport, Amnon & Amaldoss, Wilfred, 2000. "Mixed strategies and iterative elimination of strongly dominated strategies: an experimental investigation of states of knowledge," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 483-521, August.
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