IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/gamebe/v74y2012i1p102-119.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Signaling without a common prior: Results on experimental equilibrium selection

Author

Listed:
  • Drouvelis, Michalis
  • Müller, Wieland
  • Possajennikov, Alex

Abstract

The common prior assumption is pervasive in game-theoretic models with incomplete information. This paper investigates experimentally the importance of inducing a correct common prior in a two-person signaling game. Equilibrium selection arguments predict that different equilibria may be selected depending on whether the common prior is induced or not. Indeed, for a specific probability distribution of the senderʼs type, the long-run behavior without an induced common prior is shown to be different from the long-run behavior when a common prior is induced, while for other distributions long-run behavior is similar under both regimes. We also present a learning model that allows players to learn about the other playersʼ strategies and the prior distribution of the senderʼs type. We show that this learning model accurately accounts for all main features of the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Drouvelis, Michalis & Müller, Wieland & Possajennikov, Alex, 2012. "Signaling without a common prior: Results on experimental equilibrium selection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 102-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:74:y:2012:i:1:p:102-119
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2011.05.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899825611000893
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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, January.
    3. Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 2004. "Learning to play Bayesian games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 282-303, February.
    4. Christopher M. Anderson & Colin F. Camerer, 2000. "Experience-weighted attraction learning in sender-receiver signaling games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 16(3), pages 689-718.
    5. Haruvy, Ernan & Stahl, Dale O., 2004. "Deductive versus inductive equilibrium selection: experimental results," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 319-331, March.
    6. Charles N. Noussair & Charles R. Plott & Raymond G. Riezman, 2013. "An Experimental Investigation of the Patterns of International Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 17, pages 299-328 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. John Huyck & Raymond Battalio & Frederick Rankin, 2007. "Selection dynamics and adaptive behavior without much information," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 53-65, October.
    8. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-248, March.
    9. Cooper, Russell, et al, 1990. "Selection Criteria in Coordination Games: Some Experimental Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 218-233, March.
    10. Banks Jeffrey & Camerer Colin & Porter David, 1994. "An Experimental Analysis of Nash Refinements in Signaling Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-31, January.
    11. Haruvy, Ernan & Utku Unver, M., 2007. "Equilibrium selection and the role of information in repeated matching markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 284-289, February.
    12. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1980. "A Rehabilitation of the Principle of Insufficient Reason," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(3), pages 493-506.
    13. Van Huyck, John B. & Cook, Joseph P. & Battalio, Raymond C., 1997. "Adaptive behavior and coordination failure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 483-503, April.
    14. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1993. "Adjustment Patterns and Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Signaling Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 22(3), pages 279-302.
    16. Straub, Paul G., 1995. "Risk dominance and coordination failures in static games," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 339-363.
    17. David J. Cooper & Susan Garvin & John H. Kagel, 1997. "Signalling and Adaptive Learning in an Entry Limit Pricing Game," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 662-683, Winter.
    18. Guth, Werner & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta, 2003. "Asymmetric auction experiments with(out) commonly known beliefs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 195-199, August.
    19. Oechssler, Jorg & Schipper, Burkhard, 2003. "Can you guess the game you are playing?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 137-152, April.
    20. John B. Van Huyck & Raymond C. Battalio & Richard O. Beil, 1991. "Strategic Uncertainty, Equilibrium Selection, and Coordination Failure in Average Opinion Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 885-910.
    21. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "The Theory of Learning in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945, January.
    22. 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.
    23. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1992. "An Experimental Test of Equilibrium Dominance in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1350-1365, December.
    24. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    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. Alex Possajennikov, 2018. "Belief formation in a signaling game without common prior: an experiment," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 84(3), pages 483-505, May.
    2. Olivier Bos & Francisco Gomez-Martinez & Sander Onderstal & Tom Truyts, 2017. "Signaling in auctions: experimental evidence," Working Papers Department of Economics 585499, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Common prior; Signaling; Experiment; Learning; Equilibrium selection;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    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:74:y:2012:i:1:p:102-119. 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.