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Cognitive Ability, Character Skills, and Learning to Play Equilibrium: A Level-k Analysis

Listed author(s):
  • David Gill
  • Victoria Prowse

We investigate how cognitive ability and character skills influence the evolution of play toward Nash equilibrium in repeated strategic interactions. We find that more cognitively able subjects choose numbers closer to equilibrium, earn more, and converge more frequently to equilibrium play. We estimate a structural model of learning based on level k reasoning and find a positive relationship between cognitive ability and levels. Furthermore, the average level of more cognitively able subjects responds positively to the cognitive ability of their opponents. More agreeable and emotionally stable subjects also learn faster, although the effect of cognitive ability is stronger than that of personality.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/688849
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/688849
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 124 (2016)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1619-1676

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/688849
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Didier Fouarge & Trudie Schils & Andries de Grip, 2013. "Why do low-educated workers invest less in further training?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(18), pages 2587-2601, June.
  2. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  3. Oliver Schnusenberg & Andrés Gallo, 2011. "On Cognitive Ability and Learning in a Beauty Contest," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 11(1), pages 13-24, Summer.
  4. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Jones, Garett & Weel, Jaap, 2010. "Patience, cognitive skill and coordination in the repeated stag hunt," MPRA Paper 27723, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo & Vostroknutov, Alexander, 2010. "Experience and insight in the Race game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 144-155, August.
  6. Emrah Arbak & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2013. "Voluntary leadership: motivation and influence," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(3), pages 635-662, March.
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