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Testing Game Theory in the Field: Swedish LUPI Lottery Games

  • Östling, Robert

    ()

    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

  • Wang, Joseph Tao-yi

    ()

    (Department of Economics, National Taiwan University)

  • Chou, Eileen

    ()

    (Management and Organization, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University)

  • Camerer, Colin F.

    ()

    (Division for the Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology)

Game theory is usually difficult to test precisely in the field because predictions typically depend sensitively on features that are not controlled or observed. We conduct one such test using field data from the Swedish lowest unique positive integer (LUPI) game. In the LUPI game, players pick positive integers and whoever chose the lowest unique number wins a fixed prize. Theoretical equilibrium predictions are derived assuming Poisson-distributed uncertainty about the number of players, and tested using both field and laboratory data. The field and lab data show similar patterns. Despite various deviations from equilibrium, there is a surprising degree of convergence toward equilibrium. Some of the deviations from equilibrium can be rationalized by a cognitive hierarchy model.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 671.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 14 Aug 2007
Date of revision: 30 Oct 2007
Publication status: Published as Östling, Robert, Joseph Tao-yi Wang, Eileen Chou and Colin F. Camerer, 'Testing Game Theory in the Field: Swedish LUPI Lottery Games' in American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 2011, pages 1-33.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0671
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  1. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Level-k Auctions: Can a Nonequilibrium Model of Strategic Thinking Explain the Winner's Curse and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1721-1770, November.
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  8. Rogers, Brian W. & Palfrey, Thomas R. & Camerer, Colin F., 2009. "Heterogeneous quantal response equilibrium and cognitive hierarchies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1440-1467, July.
  9. Jürgen Eichberger & Dmitri Vinogradov, 2008. "Least Unmatched Price Auctions: A First Approach," Working Papers 0471, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
  10. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 247-272, May.
  11. Andrea Gallice, 2009. "Lowest Unique Bid Auctions with Signals," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 112, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised Sep 2009.
  12. Amnon Rapoport & Hironori Otsubo & Bora Kim & William E. Stein, 2009. "Unique Bid Auction Games," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-005, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  13. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898, August.
  14. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Fatal Attraction: Salience, Naïveté, and Sophistication in Experimental "Hide-and-Seek" Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1731-1750, December.
  15. Raviv, Yaron & Virag, Gabor, 2009. "Gambling by auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 369-378, May.
  16. Harold Houba & Dinard Laan & Dirk Veldhuizen, 2011. "Endogenous entry in lowest-unique sealed-bid auctions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 71(2), pages 269-295, August.
  17. Thierry Post & Martijn J. van den Assem & Guido Baltussen & Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Deal or No Deal? Decision Making under Risk in a Large-Payoff Game Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 38-71, March.
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