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Minimax across a population of games

Listed author(s):
  • Ido Erev

    (The Technion)

  • Alvin E. Roth

    (Stanford University)

  • Robert Slonim

    ()

    (The University of Sydney)

Abstract Most economic experiments designed to test theories carefully choose specific games. This paper reports on an experimental design to evaluate how well the minimax hypothesis describes behavior across a population of games. Past studies suggest that the hypothesis is more accurate the closer the equilibrium is to equal probability play of all actions, but many differences between the designs makes direct comparison impossible. We examine the minimax hypothesis by randomly sampling constant sum games with two players and two actions with a unique equilibrium in mixed strategies. Only varying the games, we find behavior is more consistent with minimax play the closer the mixed strategy equilibrium is to equal probability play of each action. The results are robust over all iterations as well as early and final play. Experimental designs in which the game is a variable allow some conclusions to be drawn that cannot be drawn from more conventional experimental designs.

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File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s40881-016-0029-3
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Article provided by Springer & Economic Science Association in its journal Journal of the Economic Science Association.

Volume (Year): 2 (2016)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 144-156

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jesaex:v:2:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s40881-016-0029-3
DOI: 10.1007/s40881-016-0029-3
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  1. Robert W. Rosenthal & Jason Shachat & Mark Walker, 2003. "Hide and seek in Arizona," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 32(2), pages 273-293, December.
  2. 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 848-881, September.
  3. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E. & Slonim, Robert L. & Barron, Greg, 2002. "Predictive value and the usefulness of game theoretic models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 359-368.
  4. Mookherjee Dilip & Sopher Barry, 1994. "Learning Behavior in an Experimental Matching Pennies Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 62-91, July.
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  6. Yoella Bereby-Meyer & Alvin E. Roth, 2006. "The Speed of Learning in Noisy Games: Partial Reinforcement and the Sustainability of Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1029-1042, September.
  7. Ochs, Jack & Roth, Alvin E, 1989. "An Experimental Study of Sequential Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 355-384, June.
  8. Syngjoo Choi & Raymond Fisman & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2007. "Consistency, Heterogeneity, and Granularity of Individual Behavior under Uncertainty," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000793, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Syngjoo Choi & Raymond Fisman & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2007. "Consistency and Heterogeneity of Individual Behavior under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1921-1938, December.
  10. Jason Shachat & J. Todd Swarthout, 2004. "Do we detect and exploit mixed strategy play by opponents?," Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research (GOR);Nederlands Genootschap voor Besliskunde (NGB), vol. 59(3), pages 359-373, 07.
  11. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  12. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Boundedly Rational Rule Learning in a Guessing Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 303-330, October.
  13. Nick Feltovich, 2000. "Reinforcement-Based vs. Belief-Based Learning Models in Experimental Asymmetric-Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 605-642, May.
  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. repec:spr:compst:v:59:y:2004:i:3:p:359-373 is not listed on IDEAS
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