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Hindsight, Foresight, and Insight: An Experimental Study of a Small-Market Investment Game with Common and Private Values

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  • Asen Ivanov
  • Dan Levin
  • James Peck

Abstract

We experimentally test an endogenous-timing investment model in which subjects privately observe their cost of investing and a signal correlated with the common investment return. Subjects overinvest, relative to Nash. We separately consider whether subjects draw inferences, in hindsight, and use foresight to delay profitable investment and learn from market activity. In contrast to Nash, cursed equilibrium, and level-k predictions, behavior hardly changes across our experimental treatments. Maximum likelihood estimates are inconsistent with belief-based theories. We offer an explanation in terms of boundedly rational rules of thumb, based on insights about the game, which provides a better fit than quantal response equilibrium. (JEL C72, D82, D83, G11)

Suggested Citation

  • Asen Ivanov & Dan Levin & James Peck, 2009. "Hindsight, Foresight, and Insight: An Experimental Study of a Small-Market Investment Game with Common and Private Values," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1484-1507, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:4:p:1484-1507
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.4.1484
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Park & Daniel Sgroi, 2008. "Herding and Contrarianism in a Financial Trading Experiment with Endogenous Timing," Working Papers tecipa-341, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    2. Jones, Matthew T., 2014. "Strategic complexity and cooperation: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 352-366.
    3. Park, A. & Sgroi, D., 2009. "Herding and Contrarian Behavior in Financial Markets: An Experimental Analysis," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0938, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. van Leeuwen, Boris & Offerman, Theo & van de Ven, Jeroen, 2018. "Fight or Flight : Endogenous Timing in Conflicts," Discussion Paper 2018-052, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Asen Ivanov & Dan Levin & James Peck, 2010. "Behavioral Biases, Informational Externalities, and Efficiency in Endogenous-Timing Herding Games: an Experimental Study," Working Papers 1004, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
    6. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Johannes Buckenmaier, 2021. "Cognitive sophistication and deliberation times," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 558-592, June.
    7. Lukas Meub & Till Proeger & Hendrik Hüning, 2017. "A comparison of endogenous and exogenous timing in a social learning experiment," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 12(1), pages 143-166, April.
    8. Cason, Timothy N. & Sharma, Tridib & Vadovič, Radovan, 2020. "Correlated beliefs: Predicting outcomes in 2 × 2 games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 256-276.
    9. Timothy N. Cason & Tridib Sharma & Radovan Vadovic, 2019. "Corelated beliefs: Predicting outcomes in 2X2 games," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1321, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    10. Dan Levin & James Peck & Asen Ivanov, 2016. "Separating Bayesian Updating from Non-Probabilistic Reasoning: An Experimental Investigation," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 39-60, May.
    11. Daniel Carvalho & Luis Santos-Pinto, 2010. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Behavior in Endogenous Timing Games," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 10.06, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
    12. Deng, Zhongqi & Song, Shunfeng & Chen, Yongjun, 2016. "Private participation in infrastructure project and its impact on the project cost," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 63-76.
    13. Ivanov, Asen & Levin, Dan & Peck, James, 2013. "Behavioral biases in endogenous-timing herding games: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 25-34.
    14. Baddeley, M. & Burke, C. & Schultz, W. & Tobler, P., 2012. "Herding in Financial Behaviour: A Behavioural and Neuroeconomic Analysis of Individual Differences," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1225, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    15. Georganas, Sotiris & Healy, Paul J. & Weber, Roberto A., 2015. "On the persistence of strategic sophistication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 369-400.
    16. Daniel Carvalho & Luís Santos-Pinto, 2014. "A cognitive hierarchy model of behavior in the action commitment game," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 43(3), pages 551-577, August.
    17. Asen Ivanov & Dan Levin & Muriel Niederle, 2010. "Can Relaxation of Beliefs Rationalize the Winner's Curse?: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1435-1452, July.
    18. Brindisi, Francesco & Çelen, Boğaçhan & Hyndman, Kyle, 2014. "The effect of endogenous timing on coordination under asymmetric information: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 264-281.
    19. Park, Andreas & Sgroi, Daniel, 2012. "Herding, contrarianism and delay in financial market trading," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1020-1037.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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