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Strategic Sophistication of Adolescents: Evidence from Experimental Normal-Form Games

  • Czermak, Simon


    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Feri, Francesco


    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela


    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Sutter, Matthias


    (University of Cologne)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5049.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5049
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  1. Dietmar Fehr & Dorothea Kübler & David Danz, 2008. "Information and Beliefs in a Repeated Normal-form Game," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-026, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  2. 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.
  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. Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Outcomes versus intentions. on the nature of fair behavior and its development with age," Artefactual Field Experiments 00109, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. J.Keith Murnighan & MIchael Saxon, 1998. "Ultimatum bargaining by children and adults," Artefactual Field Experiments 00100, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Martin Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Trust and trustworthiness across different age groups," Artefactual Field Experiments 00110, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Matthias Sutter & Simon Czermak & Francesco Feri, 2010. "Strategic sophistication of individuals and teams in experimental normal-form games," Working Papers 2010-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  8. 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.
  9. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizs�cker, 2008. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal-Form Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 729-762.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 2004. "A model of noisy introspection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 365-382, February.
  14. Pedro Rey-Biel, . "Equilibrium Play and Best Response to (Stated) Beliefs in Normal Form Games," Working Papers 318, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  15. 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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