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Professionals Play Minimax

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  • Ignacio Palacios-Huerta

Abstract

The implications of the Minimax theorem are tested using natural data. The tests use a unique data set from penalty kicks in professional soccer games. In this natural setting experts play a one-shot two-person zero-sum game. The results of the tests are remarkably consistent with equilibrium play in every respect: (i) winning probabilities are statistically identical across strategies for players; (ii) players' choices are serially independent. The tests have substantial power to distinguish equilibrium play from disequilibrium alternatives. These results represent the first time that both implications of von Neumann's Minimax theorem are supported under natural conditions. Copyright 2003, Wiley-Blackwell.

Suggested Citation

  • Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "Professionals Play Minimax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 395-415.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:70:y:2003:i:2:p:395-415
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/1467-937X.00249
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