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How strategic are children and adolescents? Experimental evidence from normal-form games

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  • Czermak, Simon
  • Feri, Francesco
  • Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela
  • Sutter, Matthias

Abstract

We examine the strategic sophistication of 196 children and adolescents, aged 10–17 years, in experimental normal-form games. Besides choices, we also elicit first- and second-order beliefs. The share of subjects playing Nash or expecting opponents to play Nash is fairly stable across all age groups. The likelihood of playing best response to own beliefs increases in math skills. Using a mixture model, about 40% of subjects are classified as a strategic type, while the others are non-strategic. The distribution of types is somewhat changing with age. The estimated error rates also show some dependency on age and gender.

Suggested Citation

  • Czermak, Simon & Feri, Francesco & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Sutter, Matthias, 2016. "How strategic are children and adolescents? Experimental evidence from normal-form games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 265-285.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:128:y:2016:i:c:p:265-285
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.04.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Laurens Cherchye & Sam Cosaert & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock, 2017. "Group Consumption with Caring Individuals," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-45, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Florian Hett & Mario Mechtel & Henning Müller & Felix Schmidt & Daniel Schunk & Valentin Wagner, 2018. "Do Children Cooperate Conditionally? Adapting the Strategy Method for First-Graders," Working Papers 1803, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Strategic thinking; Beliefs; Experiment; Age; Adolescents;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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