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Strategic sophistication of adolescents ? Evidence from experimental normal-form games

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  • Simon Czermak

    ()

  • Francesco Feri

    ()

  • Daniela R?tzler

    ()

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()

Abstract

We examine the strategic sophistication of adolescents, aged 10 to 17 years, in experimental normal-form games. Besides making choices, subjects have to state their first- and second-order beliefs. We find that choices are more often a best reply to beliefs if any player has a dominant strategy and equilibrium payoffs are not too unequal. Using a mixture model we can estimate for each subject the probability to be any of eight different strategic and non-strategic types. The econometric estimation reveals that older subjects are more likely to eliminate dominated strategies, and that subjects with good math grades are more strategic.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Czermak & Francesco Feri & Daniela R?tzler & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Strategic sophistication of adolescents ? Evidence from experimental normal-form games," Working Papers 2010-15, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2010-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Matthias Sutter & Francesco Feri & Martin G. Kocher & Peter Martinsson & Katarina Nordblom & Daniela R?tzler, 2010. "Social preferences in childhood and adolescence ? A large-scale experiment," Working Papers 2010-13, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    2. Harbaugh, William T & Krause, Kate, 2000. "Children's Altruism in Public Good and Dictator Experiments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(1), pages 95-109, January.
    3. Stahl Dale O. & Wilson Paul W., 1995. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 218-254, July.
    4. Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G., 2007. "Trust and trustworthiness across different age groups," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 364-382, May.
    5. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2008. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 729-762.
    6. David Danz & Dietmar Fehr & Dorothea Kübler, 2012. "Information and beliefs in a repeated normal-form game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(4), pages 622-640, December.
    7. Murnighan, J. Keith & Saxon, Michael Scott, 1998. "Ultimatum bargaining by children and adults," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 415-445, August.
    8. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P & Broseta, Bruno, 2001. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1193-1235, September.
    9. Sutter, Matthias & Czermak, Simon & Feri, Francesco, 2010. "Strategic Sophistication of Individuals and Teams in Experimental Normal-Form Games," IZA Discussion Papers 4732, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 2004. "A model of noisy introspection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 365-382, February.
    11. Haruvy, Ernan & Stahl, Dale O. & Wilson, Paul W., 1999. "Evidence for optimistic and pessimistic behavior in normal-form games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 255-259, June.
    12. Sutter, Matthias, 2007. "Outcomes versus intentions: On the nature of fair behavior and its development with age," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 69-78, January.
    13. Rey-Biel, Pedro, 2009. "Equilibrium play and best response to (stated) beliefs in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 572-585, March.
    14. Bhatt, Meghana & Camerer, Colin F., 2005. "Self-referential thinking and equilibrium as states of mind in games: fMRI evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 424-459, August.
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    1. repec:zbw:rwirep:0360 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Geng, Sen & Peng, Yujia & Shachat, Jason & Zhong, Huizhen, 2015. "Adolescents, cognitive ability, and minimax play," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 54-58.
    3. Jeannette Brosig-Koch & Timo Heinrich & Christoph Helbach, 2012. "Exploring the Capability to Backward Induct – An Experimental Study with Children and Young Adults," Ruhr Economic Papers 0360, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Brosig-Koch, Jeannette & Heinrich, Timo & Helbach, Christoph, 2012. "Exploring the Capability to Backward Induct – An Experimental Study with Children and Young Adults," Ruhr Economic Papers 360, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Strategic thinking; beliefs; experiment; age; adolescents;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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