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Equilibrium Play and Best Response to (Stated) Beliefs in Normal Form Games

  • Pedro Rey-Biel

We report experimental results on a series of ten one-shot two-person 3x3 normal form games with unique equilibrium in pure strategies played by non-economists. In contrast to previous experiments in which game theory predictions fail dramatically, a majority of actions taken coincided with the equilibrium prediction (70.2%) and were best-responses to subjects' stated beliefs (67.2%). In constant-sum games, 78% of actions taken were predicted by the equilibrium model, outperforming simple K-level reasoning models. We discuss how non-trivial game characteristics related to risk aversion, efficiency concerns and social preferences may affect the predictive value of different models in simple normal form games.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 318.

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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:318
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  1. Broseta, Bruno & Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P., 2000. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt0fp8278k, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Huck, Steffen & Weizsacker, Georg, 2002. "Do players correctly estimate what others do? : Evidence of conservatism in beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 71-85, January.
  3. Dale O. Stahl & Paul W. Wilson, 2010. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 542, David K. Levine.
  4. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
  5. Weizsacker, Georg, 2003. "Ignoring the rationality of others: evidence from experimental normal-form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 145-171, July.
  6. Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2000. "A Model of Noisy Introspection," Virginia Economics Online Papers 343, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  7. Crawford, Vincent P., 2002. "Introduction to Experimental Game Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 1-15, May.
  8. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  9. Huck, Steffen & Weizsacker, Georg, 1999. "Risk, complexity, and deviations from expected-value maximization: Results of a lottery choice experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 699-715, December.
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