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Learning to be unpredictable : an experimental study


  • Arijit Mukherji
  • David E. Runkle


This study tests experimentally whether the ability of subjects to play a noncooperative game's mixed-strategy equilibrium (to make their play unpredictable) is affected by how much information subjects have about the structure of the game. Subjects played the mixed-strategy equilibrium when they had all the information about other players' payoffs and actions, but not otherwise. Previous research has shown that players of a game can play a mixed-strategy equilibrium if they observe the actions of all players and use sophisticated Bayesian learning to infer the likely payoffs to other players. The result of this study suggests that the subjects in our experiments did not use sophisticated Bayesian learning. The result also suggests that economists should be careful about assuming in their models that people can easily infer everyone else's payoffs.

Suggested Citation

  • Arijit Mukherji & David E. Runkle, 2000. "Learning to be unpredictable : an experimental study," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 14-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:2000:i:spr:p:14-20:n:v.24no.2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kim C. Border & Joel Sobel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 525-540.
    2. Jordan, J. S., 1991. "Bayesian learning in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 60-81, February.
    3. repec:bla:joares:v:23:y:1985:i:1:p:175-193 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kalai, Ehud & Lehrer, Ehud, 1993. "Rational Learning Leads to Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1019-1045, September.
    5. Arijit Mukherji & Kevin A. McCabe & David E. Runkle, 2000. "An experimental study of information and mixed-strategy play in the three-person matching-pennies game," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 15(2), pages 421-462.
    6. Friedman, Daniel, 1996. "Equilibrium in Evolutionary Games: Some Experimental Results," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 1-25, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shachat, Jason & Swarthout, J. Todd, 2012. "Learning about learning in games through experimental control of strategic interdependence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 383-402.
    2. von Furstenberg, George M., 2001. "Hopes and delusions of transparency1," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 105-120, March.
    3. repec:wyi:journl:002151 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Game theory;


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