IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/inn/wpaper/2014-14.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Experimental games on networks: Underpinnings of behavior and equilibrium selection

Author

Listed:
  • Gary Charness
  • Francesco Feri
  • Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez
  • Matthias Sutter

Abstract

In this paper, we describe a series of laboratory experiments that implement specific examples of a more general network structure and we examine equilibrium selection. Specifically, actions are either strategic substitutes or strategic complements, and participants have either complete or incomplete information about the structure of a random network. Since economic environments typically have a considerable degree of complementarity or substitutability, this framework applies to a wide variety of settings. The degree of equilibrium play is striking, in particular with incomplete information. Behavior closely resembles the theoretical equilibrium whenever this is unique; when there are multiple equilibria, general features of networks, such as connectivity, clustering, and the degree of the players, help to predict informed behavior in the lab. People appear to be strongly attracted to maximizing aggregate payoffs (social efficiency), but there are forces that moderate this attraction: 1) people seem content with (in the aggregate) capturing only the lion's share of the efficient profits in exchange for reduced exposure to loss, and 2) uncertainty about the network structure makes it considerably more difficult to coordinate on a demanding, but efficient, equilibrium that is typically implemented with complete information.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Charness & Francesco Feri & Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez & Matthias Sutter, 2014. "Experimental games on networks: Underpinnings of behavior and equilibrium selection," Working Papers 2014-14, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, Universität Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2014-14
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www2.uibk.ac.at/downloads/c4041030/wpaper/2014-14.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, December.
    3. Charness, Gary & Corominas-Bosch, Margarida & Frechette, Guillaume R., 2007. "Bargaining and network structure: An experiment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 28-65, September.
    4. Ken Hendricks & Michele Piccione & Guofu Tan, 1995. "The Economics of Hubs: The Case of Monopoly," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 62(1), pages 83-99.
    5. Falk Armin & Kosfeld Michael, 2012. "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-36, September.
    6. Jeffrey Carpenter & Shachar Kariv & Andrew Schotter, 2012. "Network architecture, cooperation and punishment in public good experiments," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 16(2), pages 93-118, September.
    7. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "Punishing free-riders: How group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 31-51, July.
    8. Charness, Gary & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "Group play in games and the role of consent in network formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 417-445, September.
    9. Armin Falk & James J. Heckman, 2009. "Lab Experiments are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," Working Papers 200935, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    10. Peski, Marcin, 2010. "Generalized risk-dominance and asymmetric dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 216-248, January.
    11. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-248, March.
    12. Keser, Claudia & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Berninghaus, Siegfried K., 1998. "Coordination and local interaction: experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 269-275, March.
    13. Corbae, Dean & Duffy, John, 2008. "Experiments with network formation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-120, September.
    14. Enrique Fatas & Miguel Meléndez-Jiménez & Hector Solaz, 2010. "An experimental analysis of team production in networks," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(4), pages 399-411, December.
    15. Siegfried Berninghaus & Karl-Martin Ehrhart & Marion Ott, 2006. "A network experiment in continuous time: The influence of link costs," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(3), pages 237-251, September.
    16. Coralio Ballester & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2006. "Who's Who in Networks. Wanted: The Key Player," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1403-1417, September.
    17. Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Weitzel, Utz, 2012. "Network structure and strategic investments: An experimental analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 898-920.
    18. Andrea Galeotti & Fernando Vega‐Redondo, 2011. "Complex networks and local externalities: A strategic approach," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 7(1), pages 77-92, March.
    19. Charness, Gary, 2000. "Self-Serving Cheap Talk: A Test Of Aumann's Conjecture," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 177-194, November.
    20. Kene Boun My & Marc Willinger & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2006. "Structure d'interactions et problème de coordination : une approche expérimentale," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 13-13.
    21. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 426-454, June.
    22. Cassar, Alessandra, 2007. "Coordination and cooperation in local, random and small world networks: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 209-230, February.
    23. Sergio Currarini & Matthew O. Jackson & Paolo Pin, 2009. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities, and Segregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1003-1045, July.
    24. Choi, Syngjoo & Gale, Douglas & Kariv, Shachar & Palfrey, Thomas, 2011. "Network architecture, salience and coordination," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 76-90, September.
    25. Charness, Gary & Feri, Francesco & Meléndez-Jiménez, Miguel A. & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Games on Networks," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt51v6w9hd, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    26. Gary Charness & Uri Gneezy, 2010. "Portfolio Choice And Risk Attitudes: An Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 133-146, January.
    27. Syngjoo Choi & Jihong Lee, 2014. "Communication, Coordination, And Networks," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 223-247, February.
    28. Crawford, Vincent P & Rochford, Sharon C, 1986. "Bargaining and Competition in Matching Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(2), pages 329-348, June.
    29. Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper, 2006. "A Change Would Do You Good .... An Experimental Study on How to Overcome Coordination Failure in Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 669-693, June.
    30. Cary Deck & Cathleen Johnson, 2004. "Link bidding in laboratory networks," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 8(4), pages 359-372, April.
    31. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
    32. Boncinelli, Leonardo & Pin, Paolo, 2012. "Stochastic stability in best shot network games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 538-554.
    33. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    34. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
    35. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    36. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-1418, December.
    37. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "Networks in labor markets: Wage and employment dynamics and inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 27-46, January.
    38. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    39. Ben Greiner, 2004. "The Online Recruitment System ORSEE 2.0 - A Guide for the Organization of Experiments in Economics," Working Paper Series in Economics 10, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    40. Ben Greiner, 2004. "The Online Recruitment System ORSEE - A Guide for the Organization of Experiments in Economics," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    41. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    42. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
    43. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni, 2004. "Job contact networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 191-206, March.
    44. Siegfried Berninghaus & Karl-Martin Ehrhart & Marion Ott & Bodo Vogt, 2007. "Evolution of networks—an experimental analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 317-347, June.
    45. Rachel E. Kranton & Deborah F. Minehart, 2001. "A Theory of Buyer-Seller Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 485-508, June.
    46. Arun Sundararajan, 2004. "Local Network Effects and Network Structure," Industrial Organization 0412011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    47. Kelso, Alexander S, Jr & Crawford, Vincent P, 1982. "Job Matching, Coalition Formation, and Gross Substitutes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1483-1504, November.
    48. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Risk Attitudes: An Experiment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7vz7w609, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    49. Alan Kirman, 1997. "The economy as an evolving network," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 339-353.
    50. Bramoulle, Yann & Kranton, Rachel, 2007. "Public goods in networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 478-494, July.
    51. Callander, Steven & Plott, Charles R., 2005. "Principles of network development and evolution: an experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1469-1495, August.
    52. Kirchkamp, Oliver & Nagel, Rosemarie, 2007. "Naive learning and cooperation in network experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 269-292, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Charness, Gary & Feri, Francesco & Meléndez-Jiménez, Miguel A. & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Games on Networks," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt51v6w9hd, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    2. Jackson, Matthew O. & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Games on Networks," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,, Elsevier.
    3. Syngjoo Choi & Edoardo Gallo & Shachar Kariv, 2015. "Networks in the laboratory," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1551, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Zhang, Yang & He, Longfei, 2021. "Theory and experiments on network games of public goods: inequality aversion and welfare preference," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 326-347.
    5. Falk Armin & Kosfeld Michael, 2012. "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-36, September.
    6. Arno Riedl & Ingrid M. T. Rohde & Martin Strobel, 2016. "Efficient Coordination in Weakest-Link Games," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 83(2), pages 737-767.
    7. Mamadou Gueye & Nicolas Quérou & Raphaël Soubeyran, 2018. "Does equity induce inefficiency? An experiment on coordination," Working Papers hal-02790603, HAL.
    8. Choi, S & Goyal, S. & Moisan, F., 2019. "Connectors and Influencers," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1935, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    9. Antinyan, Armenak & Horváth, Gergely & Jia, Mofei, 2020. "Positional concerns and social network structure: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    10. Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2016. "Disentangling Social Capital: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence on Coordination, Networks, and Cooperation," Artefactual Field Experiments 00565, The Field Experiments Website.
    11. Zhang, Yang & Du, Xiaomin, 2017. "Network effects on strategic interactions: A laboratory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 133-146.
    12. Takács, Károly, 2010. "Hálózati kísérletek [Network experiments]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 958-979.
    13. Natalia Montinari & Michela Rancan, 2013. "Social preferences under risk : the role of social distance," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/90, European University Institute.
    14. Feldhaus, Christoph & Rockenbach, Bettina & Zeppenfeld, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in minimum-effort coordination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 341-370.
    15. Feldhaus, Christoph & Rockenbach, Bettina & Zeppenfeld, Christopher, 2020. "Inequality in minimum-effort coordination," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224650, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Natalia Montinari & Michela Rancan, 2018. "Risk taking on behalf of others: The role of social distance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 81-109, August.
    17. Andreas Leibbrandt & Abhijit Ramalingam & Lauri Sääksvuori & James Walker, 2015. "Incomplete punishment networks in public goods games: experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(1), pages 15-37, March.
    18. Montinari, Natalia & Rancan, Michela, 2020. "A friend is a treasure: On the interplay of social distance and monetary incentives when risk is taken on behalf of others," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    19. Arthur Schram & Boris Van Leeuwen & Theo Offerman, 2013. "Superstars Need Social Benefits: An Experiment on Network Formation," Working Papers 1306, Departament Empresa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, revised Jul 2013.
    20. David Macro & Jeroen Weesie, 2016. "Inequalities between Others Do Matter: Evidence from Multiplayer Dictator Games," Games, MDPI, vol. 7(2), pages 1-23, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Random networks; Incomplete information; Connectivity; Clustering; Strategic substitutes; Strategic complements; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2014-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Janette Walde (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fuibkat.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.