IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/gamebe/v30y2000i1p115-141.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cycles of Learning in the Centipede Game

Author

Listed:
  • Ponti, Giovanni

Abstract

Traditional game theoretic analysis often proposes the application of backward-induction and subgame-perfection as models of rational behavior in games with perfect information. However, there are many situations in which such application leads to counterintuitive results, casting doubts on the predictive power of the theory itself. The Centipede Game, firstly introduced by Rosenthal (1981), represents one of these critical cases, and experimental evidence has been provided to show how people in laboratory behave in a manner which is significatively different from what the theory expects. In our paper, we construct a dynamic model based on the Centipede Game. Our claim is that the source of these discrepancies between theory and experimental evidence may be explained by appealing to some form of bounded rationality in the players' reasoning. If this is the case, traditional game theoretical analysis could still accurately predict the players' behavior, provided that they are given time enough to correctly perceive the strategic environment in which they operate. To do so, we provide conditions for convergence to the subgame-perfect equilibrium outcome for a broad class of continuous time evolutionary dynamics, defined as Aggregate Monotonic Selection dynamics (Samuelson and Zhang (1992)). Moreover, by introducing a drift term in the dynamics, we show how the outcome of this learning process is intrinsically unstable, and how this instability is positively related with the length of the game.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Ponti, Giovanni, 2000. "Cycles of Learning in the Centipede Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 115-141, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:30:y:2000:i:1:p:115-141
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899-8256(98)90707-2
    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 below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1992. "An Experimental Study of the Centipede Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 803-836, July.
    2. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
    3. Hofbauer, Josef & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1996. "Evolutionary Selection against Dominated Strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 558-573, November.
    4. Cressman, R. & Schlag, K. H., 1998. "The Dynamic (In)Stability of Backwards Induction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 260-285, December.
    5. Cressman, R., 1996. "Evolutionary Stability in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner 's Dilemma Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 234-248, January.
    6. Ken Binmore, 1997. "Rationality and backward induction," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 23-41.
    7. 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.
    8. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1995. "Evolutionary Drift and Equilibrium Selection," Working papers 9529, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    9. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
    10. Schlag, Karl H., 1998. "Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
    11. Borgers, Tilman & Sarin, Rajiv, 1997. "Learning Through Reinforcement and Replicator Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 1-14, November.
    12. Rosenthal, Robert W., 1981. "Games of perfect information, predatory pricing and the chain-store paradox," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 92-100, August.
    13. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    14. Battigalli, Pierpaolo, 1997. "On Rationalizability in Extensive Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 40-61, May.
    15. Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
    16. Reny Philip J., 1993. "Common Belief and the Theory of Games with Perfect Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 257-274, April.
    17. Cabrales, Antonio, 2000. "Stochastic Replicator Dynamics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 451-481, May.
    18. Samuelson, Larry & Zhang, Jianbo, 1992. "Evolutionary stability in asymmetric games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 363-391, August.
    19. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
    20. Nachbar, J H, 1990. ""Evolutionary" Selection Dynamics in Games: Convergence and Limit Properties," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 19(1), pages 59-89.
    21. Aumann, Robert J., 1995. "Backward induction and common knowledge of rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 6-19.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:cdl:ucsbec:6-98 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kristian Lindgren & Vilhelm Verendel, 2013. "Evolutionary Exploration of the Finitely Repeated Prisoners’ Dilemma—The Effect of Out-of-Equilibrium Play," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-20, January.
    3. Lindgren, Kristian & Verendel, Vilhelm, 2013. "Evolutionary Exploration of the Finitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma--The Effect of Out-of-Equilibrium Play," MPRA Paper 43662, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Antonio Cabrales & Giovanni Ponti, 2000. "Implementation, Elimination of Weakly Dominated Strategies and Evolutionary Dynamics," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(2), pages 247-282, April.
    5. Ponti, Giovanni, 2000. "Continuous-time evolutionary dynamics: theory and practice," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 187-214, June.
    6. Paolo Crosetto & Marco Mantovani, 2012. "Availability of Information and Representation Effects in the Centipede Game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-051, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    7. Rapoport, Amnon & Stein, William E. & Parco, James E. & Nicholas, Thomas E., 2003. "Equilibrium play and adaptive learning in a three-person centipede game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 239-265, May.
    8. Caminati, Mauro & Innocenti, Alessandro & Ricciuti, Roberto, 2006. "Drift effect under timing without observability: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 393-414, November.
    9. Giovanni Ponti, 2000. "Splitting The Baby In Two: How To Solve Solomon'S Dilemma When Agents Are Boundedly Rational," Working Papers. Serie AD 2000-08, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    10. Farina, Francesco & Sbriglia, Patrizia, 2007. "Cooperation as self-interested reciprocity in the Centipede," MPRA Paper 3701, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Alessandro Innocenti & Mauro Caminati & Roberto Ricciuti, 2003. "Drift effect and timing without observability: experimental evidence," Department of Economics University of Siena 405, Department of Economics, University of Siena.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C79 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Other

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:30:y:2000:i:1:p:115-141. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.