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The Emergence of Coordination in Public Good Games

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  • Walid Hichri

    (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)

  • Alan Kirman

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579)

Abstract

In physical models it is well understood that the aggregate behaviour of a system is not in one to one correspondence with the behaviour of the average individual element of that system. Yet, in many economic models the behaviour of aggregates is thought of as corresponding to that of an individual. A typical example is that of public goods experiments. A systematic feature of such experiments is that, with repetition, people contribute less to public goods. A typical explanation is that people “learn to play Nash” or something approaching it. To justify such anexplanation, an individual learning model is tested on average or aggregate data. In this paper we will examine this idea by analysing average and individual behaviour in a series of public goods experiments. We analyse data from a series of games of contributions to public goods and firstly to see what happens, if we follow the standard approach and test a learning model on the average data. We then look at individual data, examine the changes that this produces and see if somegeneral model such as the EWA (Expected Weighted Attraction) with varying parameters can account for individual behaviour. We find that once we disaggregate data such models have poor explanatory power. Groups do not learn as supposed, their behaviour differs markedly from one group to another, and the behaviour of the individuals who make up the groups also varies within groups. The decline in aggregate contributions cannot be explained by resorting to a uniformmodel of individual behaviour.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00161572.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published, European Physical Journal B, 2007, 55, 2, 149-159
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00161572

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00161572/en/
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Related research

Keywords: Experimental Economics; Public Goods; Learning models; Individual and Aggregate behaviour.;

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  1. Maskin, Eric & Kreps, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1990. "Repeated Games with Long-run and Short-run Players," Scholarly Articles 3226950, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "Learning in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2222, David K. Levine.
  3. Thoron, Sylvie & Sol, Emmanuel & Willinger, Marc, 2009. "Do binding agreements solve the social dilemma?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1271-1282, December.
  4. Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Hideki Nakamura, 2001. "The 'Spite' Dilemma in Voluntary Contribution Mechanism Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000155, David K. Levine.
  5. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Friedman, Daniel, 1997. "Individual Learning in Normal Form Games: Some Laboratory Results," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 46-76, April.
  6. Drew Fudenberg & Eric Maskin, 1998. "The Folk Theorem for Repeated Games with Discounting and Incomplete Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 224, David K. Levine.
  7. Teck H Ho & Colin Camerer & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2003. "Functional EWA: A one-parameter theory of learning in games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000514, David K. Levine.
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Cited by:
  1. Y. P. Ma & S. Gonçalves & S. Mignot & J.-P. Nadal & M. B. Gordon, 2009. "Cycles of cooperation and free-riding in social systems," The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer, vol. 71(4), pages 597-610, October.
  2. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans Theo, 2011. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 321-338, June.

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