IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article

The role of strategic uncertainty in games: An experimental study of cheap talk and contracts in the Nash demand game

  • Feltovich, Nick
  • Swierzbinski, Joe

We utilise results from a human-subjects experiment to examine the connection between strategic uncertainty and outcomes in games. Our basic game is a Nash demand game where one player has an outside option available. A "chat" treatment allows bargainers to send cheap-talk messages prior to playing the basic game, and in a "contracts" treatment, they can additionally propose and accept binding contracts. We propose that strategic uncertainty comprises at least two facets: "coordination-type", which is lower in the chat game than in the basic game, and "rationality-type", which is lower in the contracts game than in the chat game. We find that both types of strategic uncertainty impact bargaining outcomes: moving from the basic game to the chat game, and thence to contracts, improves several aspects of outcomes, such as higher efficiency, less opting out and less under-demanding. Other results include a treatment effect on the types of agreements that are reached.

If 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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292110000619
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 554-574

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:4:p:554-574
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "Measuring Strategic Uncertainty in Coordination Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 1364, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Trust, Risk and Betrayal," Working Paper Series rwp03-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Raquel Fernandez & Jacob Glazer, 1989. "Striking for a Bargain Between Two Completely Informed Agents," NBER Working Papers 3108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Schechter, Laura, 2007. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural Paraguay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 272-292, February.
  5. G. Bolton, 2010. "A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 263, David K. Levine.
  6. Binmore, Ken, 2007. "Playing for Real: A Text on Game Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300574, May.
  7. Weber, Roberto A., 2003. "'Learning' with no feedback in a competitive guessing game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 134-144, July.
  8. Hoffman, Elizabeth & Spitzer, Matthew L, 1982. "The Coase Theorem: Some Experimental Tests," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 73-98, April.
  9. Ken Binmore & Avner Shared & John Sutton, 1989. "An Outside Option Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 753-770.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521555838 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Van Huyck John B. & Battalio Raymond C. & Walters Mary F., 1995. "Commitment versus Discretion in the Peasant-Dictator Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 143-170, July.
  12. Harrison, Glenn W & McKee, Michael, 1985. "Experimental Evaluation of the Coase Theorem," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 653-70, October.
  13. Fischer, S. & Güth, W. & Stiehler, A. & Müller, W., 2003. "From Ultimatum to Nash Bargaining : Theory and Experimental Evidence," Discussion Paper 2003-41, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Binmore, K & Shaked, A & Sutton, J, 1985. "Testing Noncooperative Bargaining Theory: A Preliminary Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1178-80, December.
  15. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Murnighan, J Keith & Roth, Alvin E & Schoumaker, Francoise, 1988. "Risk Aversion in Bargaining: An Experimental Study," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 101-24, March.
  17. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  18. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  19. Crawford, Vincent P, 1990. "Explicit Communication and Bargaining Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 213-19, May.
  20. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2000. "Is There a Hold-up Problem?," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 357, Stockholm School of Economics.
  21. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
  22. Stefano Demichelis & Jörgen Weibull, 2009. "Language, meaning and games A model of communication, coordination and evolution," Working Papers hal-00354224, HAL.
  23. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
  24. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 1997. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-116/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  25. Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
  26. Binmore, Ken & Swierzbinski, Joe & Proulx, Chris, 2001. "Does Minimax Work? An Experimental Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 445-64, July.
  27. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  28. Binmore, Ken, et al, 1998. "Hard Bargains and Lost Opportunities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1279-98, September.
  29. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
  30. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  31. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2003. "Risk averse behavior in generalized matching pennies games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 97-113, October.
  32. Nick Feltovich & John Duffy, 1999. "Does observation of others affect learning in strategic environments? An experimental study," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 28(1), pages 131-152.
  33. Crawford, Vincent P, 1982. "A Theory of Disagreement in Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 607-37, May.
  34. Valley, Kathleen & Thompson, Leigh & Gibbons, Robert & Bazerman, Max H., 2002. "How Communication Improves Efficiency in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 127-155, January.
  35. Rankin, Frederick W., 2006. "Requests and social distance in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-36, May.
  36. Dilip Abreu & Faruk Gul, 2000. "Bargaining and Reputation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 85-118, January.
  37. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384.
  38. Costa-Gomes, Miguel A., 2002. "A Suggested Interpretation of Some Experimental Results on Preplay Communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 104-136, May.
  39. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  40. John Sutton, 1986. "Non-Cooperative Bargaining Theory: An Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 709-724.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:4:p:554-574. See general 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: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.