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Limited Farsightedness in Network Formation

  • Marco Mantovani
  • Georg Kirchsteiger
  • Ana Mauleon
  • Vincent Vannetelbosch

Pairwise stability Jackson and Wolinsky [1996] is the standard stability concept in network formation. It assumes myopic behavior of the agents in the sense that they do not forecast how others might react to their actions. Assuming that agents are perfectly farsighted, related stability concepts have been proposed. We design a simple network formation experiment to test these extreme theories, but find evidence against both of them: the subjects are consistent with an intermediate rule of behavior, which we interpret as a form of limited farsightedness. On aggregate, the selection among multiple pairwise stable networks (and the performance of farsighted stability) crucially depends on the level of farsightedness needed to sustain them, and not on efficiency or cooperative considerations. Individual behavior analysis corroborates this interpretation, and suggests, in general, a low level of farsightedness (around two steps) on the part of the agents.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number 2013/76051.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/76051
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  1. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Ott, Marion, 2012. "Forward-looking behavior in Hawk–Dove games in endogenous networks: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 35-52.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent J., 2004. "Rationalizability for social environments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 135-156, October.
  4. TERCIEUX, Olivier & VANNETELBOSCH, Vincent, . "A characterization of stochastically stable networks," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1877, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Dutta, Bhaskar & Ghosal, Sayantan & Ray, Debraj, 2005. "Farsighted network formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 143-164, June.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521715348 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. CAULIER, Jean-François & MAULEON, Ana & VANNETELBOSCH, Vincent, 2013. "Allocation rules for coalitional network games," CORE Discussion Papers 2013032, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Falk Armin & Kosfeld Michael, 2012. "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-36, September.
  10. Carrillo, Juan D & Gaduh, Arya, 2012. "The Strategic Formation of Networks: Experimental Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 8757, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Watts, Alison, 2001. "A Dynamic Model of Network Formation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 331-341, February.
  12. Ana Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2003. "Farsightedness and Cautiousness in Coalition Formation," Working Papers 2003.52, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  13. Duranton, Gilles & Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian, 2010. "The Economics of Clusters: Lessons from the French Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199592203, March.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521887427 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Licun Xue, 1998. "Coalitional stability under perfect foresight," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 603-627.
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