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Learning to Open Monty Hall's Doors

  • Ignacio Palacios-Huerta


The analysis in this paper searches for individual and group determinants of learning behavior in Monty Hall's Three Door problem examined in Friedman (1998, American Economic Review. 88, 933–946). The results show that the size of monetary incentives, individuals' initial abilities, and social interactions with others are all important determinants of initial choices and subsequent learning in this problem: (i) More able students have a greater initial propensity to make the right choice than less able students, and their learning curves are initially steeper; (ii) Individual learning can also be enhanced through social interactions; (iii) Interestingly, less able students benefit more than more able students from social interactions in the sample. These findings support the argument that learning models that take into account individuals' abilities and that allow for social interactions where agents can exchange information hold a great deal of promise for enhancing our understanding of actual learning environments, learning processes, and the formation of rationality. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 235-251

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:6:y:2003:i:3:p:235-251
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  1. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "Learning to Open Monty Hall's Doors," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 235-251, November.
  2. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  3. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-81, September.
  5. Friedman, Daniel, 1998. "Monty Hall's Three Doors: Construction and Deconstruction of a Choice Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 933-46, September.
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