Perfect versus Imperfect Observability--An Experimental Test of Bagwell's Result
In a seminal paper Bagwell (1995) claims that the first mover advantage, i.e. the strategic benefit of committing oneself to an action before others can do, vanishes completely if this action is only imperfectly observed by second movers. In our paper we report on an experimental test of this prediction. We implement three versions of a game similar to an example^? given by Bagwell, each time varying the quality of the signal which informs the second mover. For experienced players we do not find empirical support for Bagwell's result. Instead, we find some support for the noisy Stackelberg equilibrium emphasised by van Damme and Hurkens (1997).
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