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Perfect versus Imperfect Observability--An Experimental Test of Bagwell's Result

  • Huck, Steffen
  • Muller, Wieland

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 31 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 174-190

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:31:y:2000:i:2:p:174-190
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. David K. Levine & Cesar Martinelli, 1997. "Reputation with Noisy Precommitment," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1987, David K. Levine.
  2. Gueth, Werner & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Ritzberger, Klaus, 1996. "Imperfectly Observable Commitments in n-Player Games," Economics Series 35, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  3. Bagwell, Kyle, 1995. "Commitment and observability in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280.
  4. van Damme, Eric & Hurkens, Sjaak, 1997. "Games with Imperfectly Observable Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 282-308, October.
  5. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-74216 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. 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, June.
  7. Güth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Müller, Wieland, 1998. "The relevance of equal splits: On a behavioral discontinuity in ultimatum games," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,7, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  8. Amnon Rapoport, 1997. "Order of Play in Strategically Equivalent Games in Extensive Form," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 113-136.
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