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The Effect of Hysteresis on Equilibrium Selection in Coordination Games

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  • Julian Romero

Abstract

One of the fundamental problems in both economics and organization is to understand how individuals coordinate. The widely used minimum-effort coordination game has been used as a simplifed model to better understand this problem. This paper first presents some theoretical results that give conditions under which the minimum-effort coordination game exhibits hysteresis. Using these theoretical results, some experimental hypotheses are developed and then confirmed using human subjects in the laboratory. The main insight is that play in a given game is heavily dependent on the history of parameters leading up to that game. For example, the experiments show when cost c = 0:5 in the minimum-effort coordination game, there is signifcantly more high effort if the cost has increased to c = 0:5 compared to when the cost has decreased to c = 0:5. One implication of this is that a temporary change in parameters may be able move the economic system from a bad equilibrium to a good equilibrium.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Purdue University, Department of Economics in its series Purdue University Economics Working Papers with number 1265.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1265

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Related research

Keywords: Hysteresis; Minimum-effort Coordination Game; Logit Equilibrium; Experimental Economics; Equilibrium Selection;

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References

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  1. Cason, Timothy N. & Savikhin, Anya C. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2012. "Behavioral spillovers in coordination games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 233-245.
  2. Roberto A. Weber, 2006. "Managing Growth to Achieve Efficient Coordination in Large Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 114-126, March.
  3. Nyberg, Sten, 1992. "The Honest Society: Stability and Policy Considerations," Working Paper Series 341, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper, 2006. "A Change Would Do You Good .... An Experimental Study on How to Overcome Coordination Failure in Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 669-693, June.
  5. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Fabrice Le Lec & Astrid Matthey & Ondrej Rydval, 2012. "Punishment Fosters Efficiency in the Minimum Effort Coordination Game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-030, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. Arifovic, Jasmina & Hua Jiang, Janet & Xu, Yiping, 2013. "Experimental evidence of bank runs as pure coordination failures," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2446-2465.

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