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Group Play in Games and the Role of Consent in Network Formation

  • Charness, Gary
  • Jackson, Matthew O.

We study games played between groups of players, where a given group decides which strategy it will play through a vote by its members. When groups consist of two voting players, our games can also be interpreted as network-formation games. In experiments on Stag Hunt games, we find that that the structure of the voting rule completely determines which equilibrium is played, independently of the payoff structure. Thus, we find a stark contrast between how groups and individuals play our games, with payoffs playing a much more important role in equilibrium selection in the latter case. We also explore play between groups where one member of each group dictates the play of that group. We find that the dictator tends to play a less risky strategy when choosing for a group than when playing only for him or herself. We develop a new solution concept, robust-belief equilibrium, which explains the data that we observe. We provide results showing that this solution concept has application beyond the particular games in our experiments.

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Paper provided by California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 1193.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published: Forthcoming in Journal of Economic Theory.
Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1193
Contact details of provider: Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125
Phone: 626 395-4065
Fax: 626 405-9841
Web page: http://www.hss.caltech.edu/ssEmail:

Order Information: Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125
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  1. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2005. "The Decision Maker Matters: Individual Versus Group Behaviour in Experimental Beauty-Contest Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 200-223, 01.
  2. Jackson, Matthew O., 1998. "The Evolution of Social and Economic Networks," Working Papers 1044, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1995. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  19. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  20. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2000. "Are Two Heads Better Than One?: An Experimental Analysis of Group vs. Individual Decisionmaking," NBER Working Papers 7909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Charness, Gary, 2000. "Responsibility and effort in an experimental labor market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 375-384, July.
  22. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-83, September.
  23. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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  25. Chwe Michael Suk-Young, 1994. "Farsighted Coalitional Stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 299-325, August.
  26. Bornstein, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Nagel, Rosmarie, 2002. "The effect of intergroup competition on group coordination: an experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 1-25, October.
  27. Guillaume R. Frechette & John H. Kagel & Steven Lehrer, 2000. "Bargaining in Legislatures: An Experimental Investigation of Open versus Closed Amendment Rules," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1515, Econometric Society.
  28. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
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