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Error Cascades in Observational Learning: An Experiment on the Chinos Game

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco Feri
  • Miguel Ángel Meléndez-Jiménez
  • Giovanni Ponti
  • Fernando Vega Redondo

Abstract

The paper reports an experimental study based on a variant of the popular Chinos game, which is used as a simple but paradigmatic instance of observational learning. There are three players, arranged in sequence, each of whom wins a fixed price if she manages to guess the total number of coins lying in everybody's hands. Our evidence shows that, despite the remarkable frequency of equilibrium outcomes, deviations from optimal play are also significant. And when such deviations occur, we find that, for any given player position, the probability of a mistake is increasing in the probability of a mistake of her predecessors. This is what we call an error cascade, which we which we measure by way of two alternative models.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Feri & Miguel Ángel Meléndez-Jiménez & Giovanni Ponti & Fernando Vega Redondo, 2008. "Error Cascades in Observational Learning: An Experiment on the Chinos Game," Working Papers 2008-21, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2008-21
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael & Ponti, Giovanni, 2017. "Social Motives vs Social Influence: an Experiment on Time Preferences," MPRA Paper 76486, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ponti, Giovanni & Carbone, Enrica, 2009. "Positional learning with noise," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 225-241, December.
    3. Feri, Francesco & Meléndez-Jiménez, Miguel A. & Ponti, Giovanni & Vega-Redondo, Fernando & Yu, Haihan, 2020. "Pooling or fooling? An experiment on signaling," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 582-596.
    4. Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael & Ponti, Giovanni, 2017. "Social motives vs social influence: An experiment on interdependent time preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 177-194.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    positional learning; error cascades;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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