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Iterated reasoning and welfare-enhancing instruments in the centipede game

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  • Gerber, Anke
  • Wichardt, Philipp C.

Abstract

This paper investigates the effectiveness of two instruments designed to defer termination in the centipede game: an insurance against termination by the opponent, and an option to offer the opponent a bonus for not terminating the game. The rational prediction in both cases is passing until close to the end. Empirically, however, only the bonus option is used by the subjects. The results indicate that subjects readily understand the strategic effect of the bonus, which, once offered, renders passing until close to the end the strictly dominant strategy for both players. Yet, they fail to realise the slightly more involved strategic signal entailed in the insurance, namely that passing until close to the end is a strictly dominant strategy for an insured player. The results are compatible with the common finding that the majority of people exhibit only a limited degree of iterated reasoning.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerber, Anke & Wichardt, Philipp C., 2010. "Iterated reasoning and welfare-enhancing instruments in the centipede game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 123-136, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:74:y:2010:i:1-2:p:123-136
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    Cited by:

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    2. James Tremewan & Chloé Le Coq & Alexander D. Wagner, 2013. "Social Centipedes: the Impact of Group Identity on Preferences and Reasoning," Vienna Economics Papers 1305, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    3. Ganglmair, Bernhard & Holcomb, Alex & Myung, Noah, 2020. "Expectations of reciprocity when competitors share information: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 244-267.
    4. Le Coq, Chloé & Tremewan, James & Wagner, Alexander K., 2015. "On the effects of group identity in strategic environments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 239-252.
    5. Kawagoe, Toshiji & Takizawa, Hirokazu, 2012. "Level-k analysis of experimental centipede games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 548-566.
    6. Johannes G. Jaspersen, 2016. "Hypothetical Surveys And Experimental Studies Of Insurance Demand: A Review," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 83(1), pages 217-255, January.

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    Centipede game Cooperation Welfare;

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