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Strategic experimentation with asymmetric players

Author

Listed:
  • Kaustav Das

    (University of Exeter Business School)

  • Nicolas Klein

    (Université de Montréal and CIREQ)

  • Katharina Schmid

    (Gymnasium Bad Aibling Westendstraße 6A)

Abstract

We examine a two-player game with two-armed exponential bandits à la (Keller et al. in Econometrica 73:39–68, 2005), where players operate different technologies for exploring the risky option. We characterise the set of Markov perfect equilibria and show that there always exists an equilibrium in which the player with the inferior technology uses a cut-off strategy. All Markov perfect equilibria imply the same amount of experimentation but differ with respect to the expected speed of the resolution of uncertainty. If and only if the degree of asymmetry between the players is high enough, there exists a Markov perfect equilibrium in which both players use cut-off strategies. Whenever this equilibrium exists, it welfare dominates all other equilibria. This contrasts with the case of symmetric players, where there never exists a Markov perfect equilibrium in cut-off strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaustav Das & Nicolas Klein & Katharina Schmid, 2020. "Strategic experimentation with asymmetric players," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 69(4), pages 1147-1175, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:69:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s00199-019-01193-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-019-01193-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicolas Klein & Sven Rady, 2011. "Negatively Correlated Bandits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 693-732.
    2. Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady & Martin Cripps, 2005. "Strategic Experimentation with Exponential Bandits," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 39-68, January.
    3. Rosenberg, Dinah & Salomon, Antoine & Vieille, Nicolas, 2013. "On games of strategic experimentation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 31-51.
    4. Dinah Rosenberg & Eilon Solan & Nicolas Vieille, 2007. "Social Learning in One-Arm Bandit Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1591-1611, November.
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    8. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
    9. , & ,, 2010. "Strategic experimentation with Poisson bandits," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5(2), May.
    10. Johannes Hoelzemann & Nicolas Klein, 2021. "Bandits in the lab," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(3), pages 1021-1051, July.
    11. Heidhues, Paul & Rady, Sven & Strack, Philipp, 2015. "Strategic experimentation with private payoffs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 531-551.
    12. Pauli Murto & Juuso Välimäki, 2011. "Learning and Information Aggregation in an Exit Game," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1426-1461.
    13. Klein, Nicolas, 2016. "The importance of being honest," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.
    14. Klein, Nicolas, 2013. "Strategic learning in teams," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 636-657.
    15. Yingni Guo, 2016. "Dynamic Delegation of Experimentation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 1969-2008, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rabah Amir, 2020. "Special Issue: Supermodularity and Monotonicity in Economics," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 70(4), pages 907-911, November.
    2. Song, Yangbo & Zhao, Mofei, 2021. "Dynamic R&D competition under uncertainty and strategic disclosure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 169-210.
    3. Kaustav Das & Nicolas Klein, 2020. "Do Stronger Patents Lead to Faster Innovation? The Effect of Duplicative Search," Discussion Papers in Economics 20/03, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Two-armed bandit; Heterogeneous agents; Free riding; Learning;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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