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Level-n Bounded Rationality on a Level Playing Field of Sequential Games

  • Ernan Haruvy
  • Dale Stahl

We report experimental results using a multi-task for simple two-player, two- stage extensive-form games. It is suggested that by creating the perception of a "level playing field" the participants are relieved of responsibility for others since competition on a level playing field is presumed to be fair a priori. Consistent with this suggestion, we find that the vast majority of behavior is individualistic. Moreover, we find that a straightforward extension of the Level-n theory of bounded rationality fits this data remarkably well. We also extend this theory to allow other-regarding preferences, and find that about 15% of the population behaves as if utilitarian and/or spiteful

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings with number 126.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:nawm04:126
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  1. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P. & Broseta, Bruno, 1998. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1vn4h7x5, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Steven Gjerstad, 2006. "A Tractable Model of Reciprocity and Fairness," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-05, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  3. Walker, James M & Smith, Vernon L & Cox, James C, 1990. " Inducing Risk-Neutral Preferences: An Examination in a Controlled Market Environment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 5-24, March.
  4. Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Ultimatum Game," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 195-206, Fall.
  5. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. " Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
  6. Duffy, John & Nagel, Rosemarie, 1997. "On the Robustness of Behaviour in Experimental "Beauty Contest" Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1684-1700, November.
  7. Stahl II, D.O., 1991. "Evolution of Smart Players," Papers 9166, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  8. Ernan Haruvy & Dale O. Stahl & Paul W. Wilson, 2001. "Modeling And Testing For Heterogeneity In Observed Strategic Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 146-157, February.
  9. Andereoni, J., 1988. "Why Free Ride? Strategies And Learning In Public Goods Experiments," Working papers 375, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
  11. R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
  12. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  13. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  14. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  15. Dale O. Stahl, 1997. "Rule Learning in Symmetric Normal-Form Games: Theory and Evidence," CARE Working Papers 9710, The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Applied Research in Economics.
  16. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1995. "Inducing Risk-Neutral Preferences: Further Analysis of the Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 65-79, July.
  17. Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt & Bezalel Peleg, 2000. "Co-evolution of Preferences and Information in Simple Games of Trust," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(1), pages 83-110, 02.
  18. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1985. "Experimental Development of Sealed-Bid Auction Theory: Calibrating Controls for Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 160-65, May.
  19. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  20. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
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