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Measuring Players' Losses in Experimental Games

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  • Drew Fudenberg
  • David K. Levine

Abstract

In some experiments rational players who understand the structure of the game could improve their payoff. We hound the size of the observed losses in several such experiments, lb do this, we suppose that observed play resembles an equilibrium because players learn about their opponents' play. Consequently, in an extensive-form game, some actions that are not optimal given the true distribution of opponents' play could be optimal given available information. We find that average losses are small: $0.03 to $0.64 per player with stakes between $2 and $30. In one of the three experiments we examine, this also implies a narrow range of outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1997. "Measuring Players' Losses in Experimental Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 507-536.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:2:p:507-536.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fudenberg, Drew & Kamada, Yuichiro, 2018. "Rationalizable partition-confirmed equilibrium with heterogeneous beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 364-381.
    2. Paul Pezanis-Christou & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2003. "Elicited bid functions in (a)symmetric first-price auctions," Working Papers 85, Barcelona School of Economics.
    3. Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 2004. "Learning to play Bayesian games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 282-303, February.
    4. Robert Slonim & Alvin E Roth, 2010. "Learning in High stakes utlimatum and market games. An experiment in the Slovak Republic," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1718, David K. Levine.
    5. Fudenberg, Drew & Takahashi, Satoru, 2011. "Heterogeneous beliefs and local information in stochastic fictitious play," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 100-120, January.
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:4729511 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Miguel Costa-Gomes & Klaus G Zauner, 2001. "A Social Utility Explanation of Results in Experimental Ultimatum Bargaining Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000069, David K. Levine.
    8. Kai A. Konrad & Florian Morath, 2020. "Escalation in conflict games: on beliefs and selection," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 23(3), pages 750-787, September.
    9. David K Levine, 2009. "Is Behavioral Economics Doomed?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000274, David K. Levine.
    10. James Andreoni & Emily Blanchard, 2006. "Testing subgame perfection apart from fairness in ultimatum games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(4), pages 307-321, December.
    11. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2006. "Superstition and Rational Learning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 630-651, June.
    12. David Levine, 2011. "Neuroeconomics?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 58(3), pages 287-305, September.
    13. Andreoni, James & Brown, Paul M. & Vesterlund, Lise, 2002. "What Makes an Allocation Fair? Some Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, July.
    14. Robert Slonim & Alvin E. Roth, 1998. "Learning in High Stakes Ultimatum Games: An Experiment in the Slovak Republic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 569-596, May.
    15. Pedro Dal Bó, 2005. "Cooperation under the Shadow of the Future: Experimental Evidence from Infinitely Repeated Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1591-1604, December.
    16. Pedro Dal Bo, 2002. "Three Essays on Repeated Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000038, David K. Levine.
    17. Pedro Dal Bó, 2007. "Tacit collusion under interest rate fluctuations," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 533-540, June.
    18. John List & Todd Cherry, 2000. "Learning to Accept in Ultimatum Games: Evidence from an Experimental Design that Generates Low Offers," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(1), pages 11-29, June.
    19. Christopher Avery & John H. Kagel, 1997. "Second‐Price Auctions with Asymmetric Payoffs: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 573-603, September.

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