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First- and second-order subjective expectations in strategic decision-making: Experimental evidence

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  • Manski, Charles F.
  • Neri, Claudia

Abstract

We study first- and second-order subjective expectations (beliefs) in strategic decision-making. We elicit probabilistically both first- and second-order beliefs and apply the method to a Hide-and-Seek experiment. We study the relationship between choice and beliefs in terms of whether observed choice coincides with the optimal action given elicited beliefs. We study the relationship between first- and second-order beliefs under a coherence criterion. Weak coherence requires that if an event is assigned, according to first-order beliefs, a probability higher/lower/equal to the one assigned to another event, then the same holds according to second-order beliefs. Strong coherence requires the probability assigned according to first- and second-order beliefs to coincide. Evidence of heterogeneity across participants is reported. Verbal comments collected at the end of the experiment shed light on how subjects think and decide in a complex environment that is strategic, dynamic and populated by potentially heterogeneous individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Manski, Charles F. & Neri, Claudia, 2013. "First- and second-order subjective expectations in strategic decision-making: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 232-254.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:81:y:2013:i:c:p:232-254
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2013.06.001
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    2. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kröger & Kouamé Marius Sossou, 2018. "Reporting probabilistic expectations with dynamic uncertainty about possible distributions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 153-176, October.
    3. Laura Gee & Michael Schreck, 2016. "Do Beliefs About Peers Matter for Donation Matching? Experiments in the Field and Laboratory," Framed Field Experiments 00538, The Field Experiments Website.
    4. Claudia Neri, 2015. "Eliciting beliefs in continuous-choice games: a double auction experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 569-608, December.
    5. Chen, Si & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2018. "Looking at the bright side: The motivation value of overconfidence," DICE Discussion Papers 291, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    6. Gee, Laura Katherine & Schreck, Michael J., 2017. "Do Beliefs about Peers Matter for Donation Matching? Experiments in the Field and Laboratory," IZA Discussion Papers 10956, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. A Stefano Caria & Marcel Fafchamps, 2014. "Cooperation and Expectations in Networks: Evidence from a Network Public Good Experiment in Rural India," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-33, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Castillo, Marco E. & Cross, Philip J. & Freer, Mikhail, 2019. "Nonparametric utility theory in strategic settings: Revealing preferences and beliefs from proposal–response games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 60-82.
    9. Markus Eyting & Patrick Schmidt, 2019. "Belief Elicitation with Multiple Point Predictions," Working Papers 1818, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 16 Nov 2020.
    10. Danz, David & Madarász, Kristóf & Wang, Stephanie, 2018. "The Biases of Others: Projection Equilibrium in an Agency Setting," CEPR Discussion Papers 12867, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Kai A. Konrad & Tim Lohse & Salmai Qari, 2017. "Compliance with Endogenous Audit Probabilities," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 821-850, July.
    12. Tobias Regner, 2018. "What's behind image? towards a better understanding of image-driven behavior," Jena Economic Research Papers 2018-020, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    13. Bauer, Dominik & Wolff, Irenaeus, 2019. "Biases in Beliefs," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203601, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Eyting, Markus & Schmidt, Patrick, 2021. "Belief elicitation with multiple point predictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    15. Dietrichson, Jens & Jochem, Torsten, 2014. "Organizational coordination and costly communication with boundedly rational agents," Comparative Institutional Analysis Working Paper Series 2014:1, Lund University, Comparative Institutional Analysis, School of Economics and Management.
    16. Gee, Laura K. & Schreck, Michael J., 2018. "Do beliefs about peers matter for donation matching? Experiments in the field and laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 282-297.
    17. Ye Jin, 2021. "Does level-k behavior imply level-k thinking?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(1), pages 330-353, March.
    18. Dominik Bauer & Irenaeus Wolff, 2018. "Biases in Beliefs: Experimental Evidence," TWI Research Paper Series 109, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    19. Dietrichson, Jens & Gudmundsson, Jens & Jochem, Torsten, 2014. "Let's Talk It Over: Communication and Coordination in Teams," Working Papers 2014:2, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 18 Apr 2018.
    20. Irenaeus Wolff & Dominik Bauer, 2018. "Elusive Beliefs: Why Uncertainty Leads to Stochastic Choice and Errors," TWI Research Paper Series 111, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    21. Christopher P. Chambers & Nicolas S. Lambert, 2021. "Dynamic Belief Elicitation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(1), pages 375-414, January.
    22. Chen, Si & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2019. "Looking at the bright side: The motivational value of confidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    23. Haber Julita & Brouer Robyn, 2017. "Impressions of Competency: Tactics and a Conceptual Model," Journal of Management and Business Administration. Central Europe, Sciendo, vol. 25(4), pages 28-54, December.
    24. Polonio, Luca & Coricelli, Giorgio, 2019. "Testing the level of consistency between choices and beliefs in games using eye-tracking," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 566-586.
    25. Steven J. Bosworth, 2017. "The importance of higher-order beliefs to successful coordination," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 237-258, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decision-making; Beliefs; Subjective expectations; Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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