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Correlated equilibria, good and bad: an experimental study

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  • Duffy, John
  • Feltovich, Nick

Abstract

We report results from an experiment that explores the empirical validity of correlated equilibrium, an important generalization of the Nash equilibrium concept. Specifically, we seek to understand the conditions under which subjects playing the game of Chicken will condition their behavior on private, third–party recommendations drawn from known distributions. In a good–recommendations treatment, the distribution we use is a correlated equilibrium with payoffs better than any symmetric payoff in the convex hull of Nash equilibrium payoff vectors. In a bad–recommendations treatment, the distribution is a correlated equilibrium with payoffs worse than any Nash equilibrium payoff vector. In a Nash–recommendations treatment, the distribution is a convex combination of Nash equilibrium outcomes (which is also a correlated equilibrium), and in a fourth very–good–recommendations treatment, the distribution yields high payoffs, but is not a correlated equilibrium. We compare behavior in all of these treatments to the case where subjects do not receive recommendations. We find that when recommendations are not given to subjects, behavior is very close to mixed–strategy Nash equilibrium play. When recommendations are given, behavior does differ from mixed–strategy Nash equilibrium, with the nature of the differ- ences varying according to the treatment. Our main finding is that subjects will follow third–party recommendations only if those recommendations derive from a correlated equilibrium, and further, if that correlated equilibrium is payoff–enhancing relative to the available Nash equilibria.

Suggested Citation

  • Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2010. "Correlated equilibria, good and bad: an experimental study," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-123, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:362
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10943/362
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    Cited by:

    1. Dietmar Fehr & Frank Heinemann & Aniol Llorente-Saguer, 2011. "The Power of Sunspots: An Experimental Analysis," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_33, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. repec:spr:joecth:v:64:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00199-016-0998-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Johne Bone & Michalis Drouvelis & Indrajit Ray, 2013. "Coordination in 2 x 2 Games by Following Recommendations from Correlated Equilibria," Discussion Papers 12-04r, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    4. Konstantinos Georgalos & Indrajit Ray & Sonali Sen Gupta, 2017. "Coarse correlation and coordination in a game," Working Papers 151235570, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    5. Guillen, Pablo & Hing, Alexander, 2014. "Lying through their teeth: Third party advice and truth telling in a strategy proof mechanism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 178-185.
    6. Antonio Cabrales & Michalis Drouvelis & Zeynep Gurguy & Indrajit Ray, 2017. "Transparency is Overrated: Communicating in a Coordination Game with Private Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 6781, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Oprea, Ryan & Henwood, Keith & Friedman, Daniel, 2011. "Separating the Hawks from the Doves: Evidence from continuous time laboratory games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2206-2225.
    8. Indrajit Ray & Sonali Sen Gupta, 2012. "Coarse correlated Equilibria in Linear Duopoly Games," Discussion Papers 11-14rr, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    9. Indrajit Ray & Sonali Gupta, 2013. "Coarse correlated equilibria in linear duopoly games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 42(2), pages 541-562, May.
    10. Alejandro Lee-Penagos, 2016. "Learning to Coordinate: Co-Evolution and Correlated Equilibrium," Discussion Papers 2016-11, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    11. Julie Beugnot & Zeynep Gürgüç & Frederik Roose Øvlisen & Michael M. W. Roos, 2012. "Coordination failure caused by sunspots," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2860-2869.
    12. repec:pit:wpaper:514 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Müller, Stephan, 2014. "The evolution of inequality aversion in a simplified game of life," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 219, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    14. Igor Asanov & Simone Vannuccini, 2015. "Short- and Long-run Effects of External Interventions on Trust," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    15. Siebert, Jan & Yang, Guanzhong, 2017. "Discoordination and miscoordination caused by sunspots in the laboratory," Working Papers on East Asian Studies 114/2017, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST.
    16. John Bone & Michalis Drouvelis & Indrajit Ray, 2012. "Following Recommendations to Avoid Coordination-Failure in 2 x 2 Games," Discussion Papers 12-04, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.

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