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Experiments with Network Formation

  • Dean Corbae
  • John Duffy

We examine how groups of agents form trading networks in the presence of idiosyncratic risk and the possibility of contagion. Specifically, four agents play a two-stage finite repeated game. In the first stage, the network structure is endogenously determined through a non-cooperative proposal game. In the second stage, agents play multiple rounds of a coordination game against all of their chosen 'neighbors' after the realization of a payoff relevant shock. While parsimonious, our four agent environment is rich enough to capture all of the important interaction structures in the networks literature: bilateral (marriage), local interaction, star, and uniform matching. Consistent with our theory, marriage networks are the most frequent and stable network structures in our experiments. We find that payoff efficiency is around 90 percent of the ex ante, payoff dominant strategies and the distribution of network structures is significantly different from that which would result from random play.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 666156000000000319.

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Date of creation: 24 Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:666156000000000319
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  1. Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1997. "A Trade Network Game with Endogenous Partner Selection," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1680, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2006. "When and Why? A Critical Survey on Coordination Failure in the Laboratory," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp302, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  3. Armin Falk, Michael Kosfeld, . "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," IEW - Working Papers 146, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  10. Keser, Claudia & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Berninghaus, Siegfried K., 1998. "Coordination and local interaction: experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 269-275, March.
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  19. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Keser, Claudia, 2002. "Conventions and Local Interaction Structures: Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 177-205, May.
  20. Esther Hauk & Rosemarie Nagel, 2000. "Choice of partners in multiple two-person prisoner's dilemma games: An experimental study," Economics Working Papers 487, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  21. Stephen Morris, 2000. "Contagion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 57-78.
  22. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
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  25. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "The Theory of Global Games on Test: Experimental Analysis of Coordination Games with Public and Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1583-1599, 09.
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  27. Garratt, Rod, 2005. "Bank Runs: An Experimental Study," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt1rk2w7m4, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
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