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The Compromise Game: Two-sided Adverse Selection in the Laboratory

  • Juan D. Carrillo
  • Thomas R. Palfrey

We analyze a game of two-sided private information characterized by extreme adverse selection, and study a special case in the laboratory. Each player has a privately known "strength" and can decide to fight or compromise. If either chooses to fight, there is a conflict; the stronger player receives a high payoff and the weaker player receives a low payoff. If both choose to compromise, conflict is avoided and each receives an intermediate payoff. The only equilibrium in both the sequential and simultaneous versions of the game is for players to always fight, independent of their own strength. In our experiment, we observe among other things (i) frequent compromise, (ii) little evidence of learning, and (iii) different behavior between first, second and simultaneous movers. We explore several models in an attempt to understand the reasons underlying these anomalous choices, including quantal response equilibrium, cognitive hierarchy, and cursed equilibrium.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 321307000000000754.

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Date of creation: 12 Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:321307000000000754
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  1. 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.
  2. Goeree, Jacob & Holt, Charles & Palfrey, Thomas, 2005. "Regular Quantal Response Equilibrium," Working Papers 1219, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  9. Colin F. Camerer & Thomas R. Palfrey & Brian W. Rogers, 2006. "Heterogeneous Quantal Response Equilibrium," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000193, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Stahl Dale O. & Wilson Paul W., 1995. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 218-254, July.
  11. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  13. Vincent P Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Level-k Auctions: Can a Non-Equilibrium Model of Strategic Thinking Explain the Winner's Curse and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions?," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000001005, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Erik Eyster & Matt Rabin, 2003. "Cursed Equilibrium," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0303002, EconWPA.
  15. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  16. Dekel, E. & Piccione, M., 1998. "On the equivalence of simulteneous and sequential binary elections," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9801, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  17. Philippe Jehiel, 2005. "Analogy-Based Expectation Equilibrium," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000106, UCLA Department of Economics.
  18. Morris, Stephen, 1994. "Trade with Heterogeneous Prior Beliefs and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1327-47, November.
  19. Holt, Charles A & Sherman, Roger, 1994. "The Loser's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 642-52, June.
  20. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
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  22. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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