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Sequential Equilibrium in Monotone Games: Theory-Based Analysis of Experimental Data

  • Syngjoo Choi
  • Douglas Gale
  • Shachar Kariv

A monotone game is an extensive-form game with complete information, simultaneous moves and an irreversibility structure on strategies. It captures a variety of situations in which players make partial commitments and allows us to characterize conditions under which equilibria result in socially desirable outcomes. However, since the game has many equilibrium outcomes, the theory lacks predictive power. To produce stronger predictions, one can restrict attention to the set of sequential equilibria, or Markov equilibria, or symmetric equilibria, or pure-strategy equilibria. This paper explores the relationship between equilibrium behavior in a class of monotone games, namely voluntary contribution games, and the behavior of human subjects in an experimental setting. Several key features of the symmetric Markov perfect equilibrium (SMPE) are consistent with the data. To judge how well the SMPE fits the data, we estimate a model of Quantal Response Equilibrium (QRE) [R. McKelvey, T. Palfrey, Quantal response equilibria for normal form games, Games Econ. Behav. 10 (1995) 6-38; R. McKelvey, T. Palfrey, Quantal response equilibria for extensive form games, Exp. Econ. 1 (1998) 9-41] and find that the decision rules of the QRE model are qualitatively very similar to the empirical choice probabilities.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 784828000000000278.

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Date of creation: 27 Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:784828000000000278
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  1. Leslie M. Marx & Steven A. Matthews, . ""Dynamic Voluntary Contribution to a Public Project''," CARESS Working Papres 99-01, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  2. R. McKelvey & T. Palfrey, 2010. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 510, David K. Levine.
  3. Gale, Douglas, 2001. "Monotone Games with Positive Spillovers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 295-320, November.
  4. Roger Lagunoff & Akihiko Matsui, . ""An 'Anti-Folk Theorem' for a Class of Asynchronously Repeated Games''," CARESS Working Papres 95-15, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Gale, D., 1992. "Dynamic Coordiantion Games," Papers 13, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Bagnoli, Mark & Lipman, Barton L, 1992. " Private Provision of Public Goods Can Be Efficient," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 59-78, July.
  8. Andreoni, J., 1997. "Toward a Theory of Charitable Fundraising," Working papers 9712, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. Aumann, Robert J. & Sorin, Sylvain, 1989. "Cooperation and bounded recall," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 5-39, March.
  10. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  11. 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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