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Communication, coordination and competition in the beauty contest game: Eleven classroom experiments

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  • Virtudes Alba-Fernández
  • Pablo Brañas-Garza
  • Francisca Jiménez-Jiménez
  • Javier Rodero-Cosano

Abstract

This paper introduces some new features in the standard experimental design of the beauty contest in order to allow communication among participants. With that aim, we use the mode instead of the mean and non-rival payoffs. This design encourages students to communicate their guessed number, with a higher probability if subjects know the 0 Nash equilibrium. The lack of communication can only be explained by subjects endowed with competitive other-regarding preferences. Experiments are run in 11 classrooms ranging from 11 to 60 students in size. Participants are given at least one week to submit their guesses and a questionnaire explaining their choice. Results indicate that: i) communication induces coordination in the responses, ii) communication does not guarantee any improvement in the average reasoning level, iii) there exist significative differences according to classroom size and duration of degree.

Suggested Citation

  • Virtudes Alba-Fernández & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Francisca Jiménez-Jiménez & Javier Rodero-Cosano, 2004. "Communication, coordination and competition in the beauty contest game: Eleven classroom experiments," IESA Working Papers Series 0416, Institute for Social Syudies of Andalusia - Higher Council for Scientific Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:esa:iesawp:0416
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. Virtudes Alba-Fernández & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Francisca Jiménez-Jiménez & Javier Rodero-Cosano, 2006. "Teaching Nash Equilibrium and Dominance: A Classroom Experiment on the Beauty Contest," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 305-322, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Beauty Contest Games; Experiments; Communication; Coordination; Competition; Meta-analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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