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Preferences and beliefs in a sequential social dilemma: A within-subjects analysis

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  • Blanco, Mariana
  • Engelmann, Dirk
  • Koch, Alexander K.
  • Normann, Hans-Theo

Abstract

In empirical analyses of games, preferences and beliefs are typically treated as independent. However, if beliefs and preferences interact, this may have implications for the interpretation of observed behavior. Our sequential social dilemma experiment allows us to separate different interaction channels. When subjects play both roles in such experiments, a positive correlation between first- and second-mover behavior is frequently reported. We find that the observed correlation primarily originates via an indirect channel, where second-mover decisions influence beliefs through a consensus effect, and the first-mover decision is a best response to these beliefs. Specifically, beliefs about second-mover cooperation are biased toward own second-mover behavior, and most subjects best respond to stated beliefs. However, we also find evidence for a direct, preference-based channel. When first movers know the true probability of second-mover cooperation, subjects' own second moves still have predictive power regarding their first moves. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) in its series DICE Discussion Papers with number 145.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:145

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Keywords: Beliefs; consensus effect; social dilemma; experimental economics;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Le Coq, Chloe & Tremewan, James & Wagner, Alexander K., 2013. "Social Centipedes: the Impact of Group Identity on Preferences and Reasoning," SITE Working Paper Series 24, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Stockholm School of Economics.
  2. Bruttel, Lisa & Eisenkopf, Gerald, 2012. "No contract or unfair contract: What's better?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 384-390.
  3. Lucy Ackert & Ann Gillette & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Mark Rider, 2011. "Are benevolent dictators altruistic in groups? A within-subject design," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 307-321, September.
  4. Marco Casari & Timothy N. Cason, 2012. "Explicit versus Implicit Contracts for Dividing the Benefits of Cooperation," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1270, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  5. Engelmann, Dirk & Strobel, Martin, 2012. "Deconstruction and reconstruction of an anomaly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 678-689.
  6. Bellemare, Charles & Sebald, Alexander, 2011. "Learning about a Class of Belief-Dependent Preferences without Information on Beliefs," IZA Discussion Papers 5957, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Ozan Aksoy & Jeroen Weesie, 2013. "Hierarchical Bayesian Analysis of Biased Beliefs and Distributional Other-Regarding Preferences," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 66-88, February.
  8. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans Theo, 2011. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 321-338, June.
  9. Francesco Farina & Gianluca Grimalda, 2011. "A cross-country experimental comparison of preferences for redistribution," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 0211, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
  10. Fabrizio Adriani & Silvia Sonderegger, 2013. "Trust, Trustworthiness and the Consensus Effect: An Evolutionary Approach," Discussion Papers 2013-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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