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Experience from a Course in Game Theory: Pre- and Post-class Problem Sets as a Didactic Device

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  • A. Rubinstein

Abstract

The paper summarizes my experience in teaching an undergraduate course in game theory in 1998. Students were required to submit two types of problem sets: pre-class problem sets, which served as experiments, and post-class problem sets, which require the students to study and apply the solution concepts taught in the course. The sharp separation between the two types of problem sets emphasizes the limited relevance of game theory as a tool for making predictions and giving advice. The paper summarizes the results of 41 experiments which were conducted during the course. It is argued that the crude experimental methods produced results which are not substantially different from those obtained at much higher cost using stricter experimental methods

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economics Department, Princeton University in its series Princeton Economic Theory Papers with number 00s4.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wop:prinet:00s4

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References

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  1. T. Randolph Beard & Richard O. Beil, 1994. "Do People Rely on the Self-Interested Maximization of Others? An Experimental Test," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(2), pages 252-262, February.
  2. Mehta, Judith & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1994. "The Nature of Salience: An Experimental Investigation of Pure Coordination Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 658-73, June.
  3. Eckel, Catherine & Holt, Charles A, 1989. "Strategic Voting in Agenda-Controlled Committee Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 763-73, September.
  4. Cooper, Russell & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1993. "Forward Induction in the Battle-of-the-Sexes Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1303-16, December.
  5. Prasnikar, Vesna & Roth, Alvin E, 1992. "Considerations of Fairness and Strategy: Experimental Data from Sequential Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 865-88, August.
  6. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Ochs, Jack & Roth, Alvin E, 1989. "An Experimental Study of Sequential Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 355-84, June.
  9. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  10. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  11. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  12. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  13. McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1992. "An Experimental Study of the Centipede Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 803-36, July.
  14. Colin F. Camerer, 1997. "Progress in Behavioral Game Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 167-188, Fall.
  15. Schotter Andrew & Weigelt Keith & Wilson Charles, 1994. "A Laboratory Investigation of Multiperson Rationality and Presentation Effects," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 445-468, May.
  16. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1991. "Comments on the Interpretation of Game Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 909-24, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Crawford, Vincent P. & Iriberri, Nagore, 2005. "Fatal Attraction: Focality, Naivete and Sophistication in Experimental “Hide and Seek†Games," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt96v0t3kq, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Shaun Hargreaves Heap & David Rojo Arjona & Robert Sugden, 2012. "A Popperian test of level-k theory," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 12-06, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  3. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2004. "Fatal Attraction: Focality, Naivete, and Sophistication in Experimental Hide-and-Seek Games," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000316, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Ariel Rubinstein, 2007. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: Response Times Study," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000001011, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Nagore Iriberri, 2013. "Structural Models of Nonequilibrium Strategic Thinking: Theory, Evidence, and Applications," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 5-62, March.
  6. Yoram Amiel & Frank Cowell & W Gaertner, 2006. "To be or not to be involved: a questionnaire-experimental view on Harsanyi's utilitarian ethics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2687, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. JOUNEAU-SION, Frédéric & TORRES, Olivier, 2000. "Auctions with discrete increments: a structural econometric approach based on dominated strategies," CORE Discussion Papers 2000046, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Ariel Rubinstein, 2007. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: A Study of Response Times," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1243-1259, October.
  9. Antoni Cunyat & Randolph Sloof, 2009. "Employee types and endofenous organizational design: An experiment," Working Papers. Serie AD 2009-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  10. Antoni Cunyat & Randolph Sloof, 2008. "Employee Types and Endogenous Organizational Design," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-019/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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