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Network Architecture, Salience and Coordination

  • Syngjoo Choi
  • Douglas Gale
  • Shachar Kariv
  • Thomas Palfrey

This paper reports the results of an experimental investigation of dynamic games in networks. In each period, the subjects simultaneously choose whether or not to make an irreversible contribution to the provision of an indivisible public good. Subjects observe the past actions of other subjects if and only if they are connected by the network. Networks may be incomplete so subjects are asymmetrically informed about the actions of other subjects in the same network, which is typically an obstacle to the attainment of an efficient outcome. For all networks, the game has a large set of (possibly inefficient) equilibrium outcomes. Nonetheless, the network architecture makes certain strategies salient and this in turn facilitates coordination on efficient outcomes. In particular, asymmetries in the network architecture encourage two salient behaviors, strategic delay and strategic commitment. By contrast, we find that symmetries in the network architecture can lead to mis-coordination and inefficient outcomes.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 122247000000001997.

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Date of creation: 21 Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:122247000000001997
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  1. Leslie M. Marx & Steven A. Matthews, 1997. "Dynamic Voluntary Contribution to a Public Project," Discussion Papers 1188, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Syngjoo Choi & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2006. "Sequential Equilibrium in Monotone Games: Theory-Based Analysis of Experimental Data," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000278, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. van Damme, Eric, 1989. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 476-496, August.
  4. Andreoni, J., 1997. "Toward a Theory of Charitable Fundraising," Working papers 9712, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  5. Carlos Al�s-Ferrer & Christoph Kuzmics, 2008. "Hidden Symmetries and Focal Points," TWI Research Paper Series 35, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit�t Konstanz.
  6. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  7. Gale, Douglas, 2001. "Monotone Games with Positive Spillovers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 295-320, November.
  8. Bagnoli, Mark & Lipman, Barton L, 1992. " Private Provision of Public Goods Can Be Efficient," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 59-78, July.
  9. Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2007. "When and why? A critical survey on coordination failure in the laboratory," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 331-344, September.
  10. John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2006. "Cooperative Behavior and the Frequency of Social Interaction," Working Papers 274, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
  11. Duffy, John & Ochs, Jack & Vesterlund, Lise, 2007. "Giving little by little: Dynamic voluntary contribution games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1708-1730, September.
  12. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-48, March.
  13. Kosfeld Michael, 2004. "Economic Networks in the Laboratory: A Survey," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-23, March.
  14. Gale, D., 1992. "Dynamic Coordiantion Games," Papers 13, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  15. Cassar, Alessandra, 2007. "Coordination and cooperation in local, random and small world networks: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 209-230, February.
  16. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1991. "Strategic Uncertainty, Equilibrium Selection, and Coordination Failure in Average Opinion Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 885-910, August.
  17. Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 259-76, April.
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