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Between-game rule learning in dissimilar symmetric normal-form games

  • Haruvy, Ernan
  • Stahl, Dale O.

Rule learning posits that decision makers, rather than choosing over actions, choose over behavioral rules with different levels of sophistication. Rules are reinforced over time based on their historically observed payoffs in a given game. Past works on rule learning have shown that when playing a single game over a number of rounds, players can learn to form sophisticated beliefs about others. Here we are interested in learning that occurs between games where the set of actions is not directly comparable from one game to the next. We study a sequence of ten thrice-played dissimilar games. Using experimental data, we find that our rule learning model captures the ability of players to learn to reason across games. However, this learning appears different from within-game rule learning as previously documented. The main adjustment in sophistication occurs by switching from non-belief-based strategies to belief-based strategies. The sophistication of the beliefs themselves increases only slightly over time.

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

Volume (Year): 74 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 208-221

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:74:y:2012:i:1:p:208-221
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