Correlated Equilibria, Good and Bad: An Experimental Study
AbstractWe report results from an experiment that explores the empirical validity of correlated equilibrium, an important generalization of the Nash equilibrium concept. Specifically, we seek to understand the conditions under which subjects will condition their behavior on private, third-party recommendations drawn from known distributions in playing the game of Chicken. In a `good-recommendations` treatment, the distribution is such that following recommendations comprises a correlated equilibrium with payoffs better than any symmetric payoff in the convex hull of Nash equilibrium payoff vectors. In a `bad-recommendations` treatment, the distribution is such that following recommendations comprises a correlated equilibrium with payoffs worse than any Nash equilibrium payoff vector. In a `Nash-recommendations` treatment, the distribution is a convex combination of Nash equilibrium outcomes (which is also a correlated equilibrium), and in a fourth `very-good-recommendations` treatment, the distribution yields high payoffs, but following recommendations does not comprise a correlated equilibrium. We compare behavior in all of these treatments to the case where subjects do not receive recommendations. We find that when recommendations are not given to subjects, behavior is very close to mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium play. When recommendations are given, behavior does differ from mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium, with the nature of the differences varying according to the treatment. Our main finding is that subjects will follow third-party recommendations only if those recommendations derive from a correlated equilibrium, and further, if that correlated equilibrium is payoff-enhancing relative to the available Nash equilibria.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 358.
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision: Oct 2008
Other versions of this item:
- John Duffy & Nick Feltovich, 2010. "Correlated Equilibria, Good And Bad: An Experimental Study," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 701-721, 08.
- Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2010. "Correlated equilibria, good and bad: an experimental study," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-123, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-07-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2008-07-20 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2008-07-20 (Game Theory)
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