IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

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

Listed author(s):
  • 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. 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 101-124, March.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  6. Offerman, T.J.S. & Potters, J.J.M. & Sonnemans, J., 2002. "Imitation and belief learning in an oligopoly experiment," Other publications TiSEM a6a771c5-31ba-4193-8f76-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  7. Fernandez, Raquel & Glazer, Jacob, 1991. "Striking for a Bargain between Two Completely Informed Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 240-252, March.
  8. Sven Fischer & Werner Güth & Wieland Müller, "undated". "From Ultimatum to Nash Bargaining: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-07, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  9. Oliver Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2002. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2002-29, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  10. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "Measuring strategic uncertainty in coordination games," Economics Working Papers 804, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Stefano Demichelis & Jörgen Weibull, 2009. "Language, meaning and games A model of communication, coordination and evolution," Working Papers hal-00354224, HAL.
  12. 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.
  13. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Is There a Hold-up Problem?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 475-494, October.
  14. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
  15. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. G. Bolton, 2010. "A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 263, David K. Levine.
  17. 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, December.
  18. Laura Schechter, 2005. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural paraguay," Artefactual Field Experiments 00106, The Field Experiments Website.
  19. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
  20. Crawford, Vincent P, 1982. "A Theory of Disagreement in Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 607-637, May.
  21. Rankin, Frederick W., 2006. "Requests and social distance in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-36, May.
  22. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
  23. 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.
  24. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521555838 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Trust, Risk and Betrayal," Working Paper Series rwp03-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  26. Dilip Abreu & Faruk Gul, 2000. "Bargaining and Reputation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 85-118, January.
  27. Binmore, Ken, 2007. "Playing for Real: A Text on Game Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300574, December.
  28. 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.
  29. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Binmore, K & Shaked, A & Sutton, J, 1985. "Testing Noncooperative Bargaining Theory: A Preliminary Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1178-1180, December.
  33. John Sutton, 1986. "Non-Cooperative Bargaining Theory: An Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 709-724.
  34. 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 653-670, October.
  35. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  36. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  37. Crawford, Vincent P, 1990. "Explicit Communication and Bargaining Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 213-219, May.
  38. 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.
  39. Binmore, Ken & Swierzbinski, Joe & Proulx, Chris, 2001. "Does Minimax Work? An Experimental Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 445-464, July.
  40. Binmore, Ken, et al, 1998. "Hard Bargains and Lost Opportunities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1279-1298, September.
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: (Dana Niculescu)

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.