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Network architecture, salience and coordination

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

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 California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 1291.

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Length: 45 pages
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Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1291
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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. Duffy, John & Ochs, Jack, 2009. "Cooperative behavior and the frequency of social interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 785-812, July.
  3. John B Van Huyck & Raymond C Battalio & Richard O Beil, 1997. "Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1225, David K. Levine.
  4. 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 - Economic Institute, Prague.
  5. Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 259-76, April.
  6. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Gale, Douglas, 1995. "Dynamic Coordination Games," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  9. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Kuzmics, Christoph, 2013. "Hidden symmetries and focal points," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 226-258.
  10. Bagnoli, Mark & Lipman, Barton L, 1992. " Private Provision of Public Goods Can Be Efficient," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 59-78, July.
  11. Choi, Syngjoo & Gale, Douglas & Kariv, Shachar, 2008. "Sequential equilibrium in monotone games: A theory-based analysis of experimental data," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 302-330, November.
  12. repec:att:wimass:9712 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. 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.
  14. Gale, Douglas, 1998. "Monotone Games with Positive Spillovers," Working Papers 98-34, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  15. 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.
  16. van Damme,Eric, 1987. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Discussion Paper Serie A 128, University of Bonn, Germany.
  17. Kosfeld Michael, 2004. "Economic Networks in the Laboratory: A Survey," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-23, March.
  18. James Andreoni, 1998. "Toward a Theory of Charitable Fund-Raising," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1186-1213, December.
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