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Coordination and information in critical mass games: an experimental study

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  • Maria Giovanna Devetag

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Abstract

We present experimental results on a repeated coordination game with Pareto-ranked equilibria in which a payoff from choosing an action is positive only if a critical mass of players choose that action. We design a baseline version of the game in which payoffs remain constant for values above the critical mass, and an increasing returns version in which payoffs keep increasing for values above the critical mass. We test the predictive power of security and payoff-dominance under different information treatments. Our results show that convergence to the payoff-dominant equilibrium is the modal limit outcome when players have full information about others' previous round choices, while this outcome never occurs in the remaining treatments. The paths of play in some groups reveal a tacit dynamic coordination by which groups converge to the efficient equilibrium in a step-like manner. Moreover, the frequency and speed of convergence to the payoff-dominant equilibrium are higher, ceteris paribus, when increasing returns are present. Finally, successful coordination seems to crucially depend on players' willingness to signal to others the choice of the action supporting the efficient equilibrium. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series CEEL Working Papers with number 0214.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0214

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  1. Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2002. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? An Experimental Comparison of Observation and Cheap Talk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-27, April.
  2. Gary Bornstein & Uri Gneezy & Rosemarie Nagel, 1999. "The effect of intergroup competition on group coordination: An experimental study," Economics Working Papers 393, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
  4. Blume, Andreas & Ortmann, Andreas, 2007. "The effects of costless pre-play communication: Experimental evidence from games with Pareto-ranked equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 274-290, January.
  5. Granovetter, Mark & Soong, Roland, 1986. "Threshold models of interpersonal effects in consumer demand," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 83-99, March.
  6. Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
  7. J. B. Van Huyck & R. C. Battalio & R. O. Beil, 2010. "Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000393, David K. Levine.
  8. John Duffy & Ed Hopkins, 2004. "Learning, Information and Sorting in Market Entry Games: Theory and Evidence," ESE Discussion Papers 78, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  9. Charles A. Holt & Jacob K. Goeree, . "An Experimental Study of Costly Coordination," Virginia Economics Online Papers 326, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  10. C. Monica Capra & Charles A. Holt, 1999. "Coordination," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 630-636, January.
  11. John Duffy & Nick Feltovich, 1997. "Does Observation of Others Affect Learning in Strategic Environments? An Experimental Study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 592, David K. Levine.
  12. Jacob K Goeree & Charles A Holt, 2004. "Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000900, David K. Levine.
  13. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
  14. Clark, Kenneth & Sefton, Martin, 2001. "Repetition and signalling: experimental evidence from games with efficient equilibria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 357-362, March.
  15. Keser, Claudia & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Berninghaus, Siegfried K., 1998. "Coordination and local interaction: experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 269-275, March.
  16. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  17. Nick Feltovich, 2003. "Nonparametric Tests of Differences in Medians: Comparison of the Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney and Robust Rank-Order Tests," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 273-297, November.
  18. Camerer, Colin F. & Ho, Teck H. & Chong, Juin-Kuan., 2000. "Sophisticated EWA Learning and Strategic Teaching in Repeated Games," Working Papers 1087, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  19. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin, 1998. "Time horizon and equilibrium selection in tacit coordination games: Experimental results," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 231-248, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Blume, Andreas & Ortmann, Andreas, 2007. "The effects of costless pre-play communication: Experimental evidence from games with Pareto-ranked equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 274-290, January.
  2. Viktoriya Semeshenko & Alexis Garapin & Bernard Ruffieux & Mirta Gordon, 2010. "Information-driven coordination: experimental results with heterogeneous individuals," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 119-142, July.
  3. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Jones, Garett & Weel, Jaap, 2010. "Patience, cognitive skill and coordination in the repeated stag hunt," MPRA Paper 27723, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Francesco Feri & Bernd Irlenbusch & Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Efficiency Gains from Team-Based Coordination – Large-Scale Experimental Evidence," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2009_14, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  5. Vranceanu, Radu & Besancenot, Damien, 2011. "Experimental Evidence on the ‘Insidious’ Illiquidity Risk," ESSEC Working Papers WP1107, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  6. Devetag, Giovanna, 2005. "Precedent transfer in coordination games: An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 227-232, November.
  7. Mak, Vincent & Zwick, Rami, 2010. "Investment decisions and coordination problems in a market with network externalities: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 759-773, December.
  8. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00602107 is not listed on IDEAS

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