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Rule Learning in Symmetric Normal-Form Games: Theory and Evidence

  • Stahl, Dale O.

We improve Stahl's (1996b) model of boundedly rational behavioral rules and rule learning for symmetric normal-form games with unique symmetric Nash equilibria. A player begins with initial propensities on a class of evidence-based behavioral rules, and given experience over time adjusts his/her propensities in proportion to the past performance of the rules. An experiment consisting of two 15 period runs with 5x5 games was designed to test this model. The experimental data provide significant support for rule learning and heterogeneity among individuals. We also strongly reject "Nash learning" and "Cournot dynamics" in favor of rule learning.

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

Volume (Year): 32 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 105-138

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:32:y:2000:i:1:p:105-138
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Stahl II, D.O., 1991. "Evolution of Smart Players," Papers 9166, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  2. Stahl Dale O. & Wilson Paul W., 1995. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 218-254, July.
  3. Rapoport, Amnon & Erev, Ido & Abraham, Elizabeth V. & Olson, David E., 1997. "Randomization and Adaptive Learning in a Simplified Poker Game," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 31-49, January.
  4. Barry Sopher & Dilip Mookherjee, 2000. "Learning and Decision Costs in Experimental Constant Sum Games," Departmental Working Papers 199625, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  5. Mark J. Machina & David Schmeidler, 1990. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Discussion Paper Serie A 306, University of Bonn, Germany.
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  8. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Mookherjee Dilip & Sopher Barry, 1994. "Learning Behavior in an Experimental Matching Pennies Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 62-91, July.
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  12. Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
  13. Dale O. Stahl, 1999. "Evidence based rules and learning in symmetric normal-form games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 111-130.
  14. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
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  16. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Friedman, Daniel, 1997. "Individual Learning in Normal Form Games: Some Laboratory Results," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 46-76, April.
  17. Jordan, J. S., 1991. "Bayesian learning in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 60-81, February.
  18. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  19. Van Huyck, John B & Cook, Joseph P & Battalio, Raymond C, 1994. "Selection Dynamics, Asymptotic Stability, and Adaptive Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 975-1005, October.
  20. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
  21. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-81, September.
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