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Uncertainty aversion in game theory: Experimental evidence

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  • Calford, Evan M.

Abstract

This paper studies, using a laboratory experiment, the effects of uncertainty aversion (the union of risk aversion and ambiguity aversion) on behavior in a normal form game. We isolate and identify two components of uncertainty aversion in games: the effect of an agent’s own uncertainty preferences and effect of the agent’s beliefs regarding their opponent’s uncertainty preferences. Uncertainty preferences are correlated with behavior in games. Induced beliefs about the risk preferences of an opponent have a larger effect on strategic behavior than induced beliefs about an opponent’s ambiguity preferences, although both components have a significant effect on behavior. The results support the hypothesis that strategic uncertainty is an important determinant of strategic behavior, and that the response to strategic uncertainty is modulated by subject uncertainty attitudes.

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  • Calford, Evan M., 2020. "Uncertainty aversion in game theory: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 720-734.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:176:y:2020:i:c:p:720-734
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.06.011
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    Cited by:

    1. Calford, Evan, 2016. "Mixed Strategies in Games with Ambiguity Averse Agents," MPRA Paper 74909, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Cathleen Johnson & Aurélien Baillon & Han Bleichrodt & Zhihua Li & Dennie Dolder & Peter P. Wakker, 2021. "Prince: An improved method for measuring incentivized preferences," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 62(1), pages 1-28, February.
    3. Li, Chen & Turmunkh, Uyanga & Wakker, Peter P., 2020. "Social and strategic ambiguity versus betrayal aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 272-287.
    4. Matteo M. Marini & Aurora García-Gallego & Luca Corazzini, 2018. "Communication in a threshold public goods game with ambiguity: Anomalies and regularities," Working Papers 2018/03, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    5. David Kelsey & Sara le Roux, 2018. "Strategic ambiguity and decision-making: an experimental study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 84(3), pages 387-404, May.
    6. Andrea Morone & Paola Tiranzoni, 2020. "Bargaining in a "Pawn Shop": A field experiment to study WTA," Framed Field Experiments 00702, The Field Experiments Website.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ambiguity aversion; Experimental economics; Game theory; Uncertainty preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • 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

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