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On the content of focal points

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  • David Rojo Arjona

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

This paper presents a methodology to study the identification of the content of focal points (Schelling 1960). This question is important for external validity and operationalising theories of decision making (e.g. team-reasoning and level-k). Choices implied by different concepts are mapped into Pure Coordination Games: open (Mehta et al. 1994) and closed (Bardsley et al. 2010). Results show that focal points are consistent with well-defined concepts, such as prototypicality, typicality and prominence in open sets but not in closed sets. Furthermore, subjects make different choices between open and closed sets leading to surprisingly more success in open than closed sets.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) with number 10-16.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:10-16

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Related research

Keywords: Behavioural game theory; experiments; coordination; framing effects; salience; focal point; typicality; prototypicality;

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  1. Nicholas Bardsley & Judith Mehta & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2010. "Explaining Focal Points: Cognitive Hierarchy Theory "versus" Team Reasoning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 40-79, 03.
  2. Nicholas Bardsley, 2000. "Control Without Deception: Individual Behaviour in Free-Riding Experiments Revisited," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 215-240, December.
  3. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  4. Vincent P. Crawford & Uri Gneezy & Yuval Rottenstreich, 2008. "The Power of Focal Points Is Limited: Even Minute Payoff Asymmetry May Yield Large Coordination Failures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1443-58, September.
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