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Equilibrium play and best response to (stated) beliefs in normal form games

  • Rey-Biel, Pedro

We report experimental results on a series of ten one-shot two-person 3x3 normal form games with unique equilibrium in pure strategies played by non-economists. In contrast to previous experiments in which game theory predictions fail dramatically, a majority of actions taken coincided with the equilibrium prediction (70.2%) and were best-responses to subjects' stated beliefs (67.2%). In constant-sum games, 78% of actions taken were predicted by the equilibrium model, outperforming simple K-level reasoning models. We discuss how non-trivial game characteristics related to risk aversion, efficiency concerns and social preferences may affect the predictive value of different models in simple normal form games.

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

Volume (Year): 65 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 572-585

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:65:y:2009:i:2:p:572-585
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 2004. "A model of noisy introspection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 365-382, February.
  2. Miguel Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford & Bruno Broseta, . "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games:An Experimental Study," Discussion Papers 00/45, Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. 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.
  4. Weizsacker, Georg, 2003. "Ignoring the rationality of others: evidence from experimental normal-form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 145-171, July.
  5. Crawford, Vincent P., 2002. "Introduction to Experimental Game Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 1-15, May.
  6. Dale O. Stahl & Paul W. Wilson, 2010. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 542, David K. Levine.
  7. 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.
  8. Huck, Steffen & Weizsacker, Georg, 2002. "Do players correctly estimate what others do? : Evidence of conservatism in beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 71-85, January.
  9. Huck, Steffen & Weizsacker, Georg, 1999. "Risk, complexity, and deviations from expected-value maximization: Results of a lottery choice experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 699-715, December.
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