When Does Learning in Games Generate Convergence to Nash Equilibria? The Role of Supermodularity in an Experimental Setting
AbstractThis study clarifies the conditions under which learning in games produces convergence to Nash equilibria in practice. Previous work has identified theoretical conditions under which various stylized learning processes achieve convergence. One technical condition is supermodularity, which is closely related to the more familiar concept of strategic complementarities. We experimentally investigate the role of supermodularity in achieving convergence through learning. Using a game from the literature on solutions to externalities, we systematically vary a free parameter below, close to, at and beyond the threshold of supermodularity to assess its effects on convergence. We find that supermodular and ¡°near-supermodular¡± games converge significantly better than those far below the threshold. From a little below the threshold to the threshold, the improvement is statistically insignificant. Within the class of supermodular games, increasing the parameter far beyond the threshold does not significantly improve convergence. Simulation shows that while most experimental results persist in the long run, some become more pronounced.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2004-02.
Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in The American Economic Review, 94(5), December 2004, 1505–1503.
Other versions of this item:
- Yan Chen & Robert Gazzale, 2004. "When Does Learning in Games Generate Convergence to Nash Equilibria? The Role of Supermodularity in an Experimental Setting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1505-1535, December.
- C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Varian, H,R., 1991.
"A Solution to the Problem of Externalities when Agents are Well-Informed,"
10, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Varian, Hal R, 1994. "A Solution to the Problem of Externalities When Agents Are Well-Informed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1278-93, December.
- Hal R. Varian, 1994. "A Solution to the Problem of Externalities when Agents are Well-Informed}," Microeconomics 9401003, EconWPA.
- Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
- Postlewaite, Andrew & Vives, Xavier, 1987. "Bank Runs as an Equilibrium Phenomenon," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 485-91, June.
- Boylan Richard T. & El-Gamal Mahmoud A., 1993. "Fictitious Play: A Statistical Study of Multiple Economic Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 205-222, April.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1979. " An Experimental Comparison of Three Public Good Decision Mechanisms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 198-215.
- Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990.
"Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-48, March.
- 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.
- John B Van Huyck & Raymond C Battalio & Richard O Beil, 1997. "Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1225, David K. Levine.
- Vives, Xavier, 1990.
"Nash equilibrium with strategic complementarities,"
Journal of Mathematical Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 305-321.
- Sarin, Rajiv & Vahid, Farshid, 1999. "Payoff Assessments without Probabilities: A Simple Dynamic Model of Choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 294-309, August.
- AMIR, Rabah, 1994.
"Cournot Oligopoly and the Theory of Supermodular Games,"
CORE Discussion Papers
1994013, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Amir, Rabah, 1996. "Cournot Oligopoly and the Theory of Supermodular Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 132-148, August.
- P. Diamond, 1980.
"Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium,"
268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Jasmina Arifovic & John Ledyard, 2002. "Computer Testbeds and Mechanism Design," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 262, Society for Computational Economics.
- Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994.
"Monotone Comparative Statics,"
Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
- Falkinger, Josef, 1996. "Efficient private provision of public goods by rewarding deviations from average," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 413-422, November.
- Andreoni,J. & Varian,H., 1999. "Pre-play contracting in the prisoners' dilemma," Working papers 18, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Josef Falkinger, 2000.
"A Simple Mechanism for the Efficient Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 247-264, March.
- Josef Falkinger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "A Simple Mechanism for the Efficient Provision of Public Goods - Experimental Evidence," IEW - Working Papers 003, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Dybvig, Philip H. & Spatt, Chester S., 1983. "Adoption externalities as public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-247, March.
- Boylan, Richard T. & El-Gamal, Mahmoud A., 1990. "Fictitious Play: A Statistical Study of Multiple Economic Experiments," Working Papers 737, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000.
"Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
- Harstad, Ronald M. & Marrese, Michael, 1982.
"Behavioral explanations of efficient public good allocations,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 367-383, December.
- Ronald M. Harstad & Michael Marrese, 1980. "Behavioral Explanations of Efficient Public Good Allocations," Discussion Papers 422, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1991. "Adaptive and sophisticated learning in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 82-100, February.
- Chen, Yan & Khoroshilov, Yuri, 2003. "Learning under limited information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-25, July.
- Cox, James C. & Walker, Mark, 1998. "Learning to play Cournot duopoly strategies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 141-161, August.
- Yan Chen & Fang-Fang Tang, 1998. "Learning and Incentive-Compatible Mechanisms for Public Goods Provision: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 633-662, June.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
- Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
- Ho, Teck-Hua & Camerer, Colin F. & Chong, Juin-Kuan, 2001. "Economic Value of EWA Lite: A Functional Theory of Learning in Games," Working Papers 1122, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Yasuyo Hamaguchi & Satoshi Mitani & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2004. "Does the Varian Mechanism Work? -Emissions Trading as an Example," Discussion papers 04009, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
- 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.
- Moulin, Herve, 1984. "Dominance solvability and cournot stability," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 83-102, February.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephen Sheppard).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.