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Mixed strategies in an unprofitable game: an experiment

  • Charles Noussair
  • Marc Willinger

We report experimental data from a two-player, two-action unprofitable game with an unique mixed strategy equilibrium. Our design allows subjects to explicitly choose probability distributions over actions. Patterns of play differ greatly from the mixed strategy equilibrium and the maxmin strategy profiles, both when measured as subjects’ choices of probability distributions, and as the resulting actions played. The Quantal Response Equilibrium (QRE) concept is a good predictor of the subjects' average choices.

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File URL: http://www.lameta.univ-montp1.fr/Documents/DR2011-19.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier in its series Working Papers with number 11-19.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision: Nov 2011
Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:11-19
Contact details of provider: Postal: Avenue Raymond Dugrand, CS 79606, 34960 Montpellier Cedex 2
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Web page: http://www.lameta.univ-montp1.fr/

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  1. Morgan, John & Sefton, Martin, 2002. "An Experimental Investigation of Unprofitable Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 123-146, July.
  2. McKelvey, Richard D. & Palfrey, Thomas R. & Weber, Roberto A., 2000. "The effects of payoff magnitude and heterogeneity on behavior in 2 x 2 games with unique mixed strategy equilibria," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 523-548, August.
  3. Barry Sopher & Dilip Mookherjee, 1997. "Learning and Decision Costs in Experimental Constant Sum Games," Departmental Working Papers 199527, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Shachat, Jason M., 2002. "Mixed Strategy Play and the Minimax Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 189-226, May.
  5. Ochs Jack, 1995. "Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria: An Experimental Study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 202-217, July.
  6. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Oscar Volij, . "Experientia Docet: Professionals Play Minimax In Laboratory Experiments," Economic theory and game theory 019, Oscar Volij.
  7. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  8. Rapoport, Amnon & Boebel, Richard B., 1992. "Mixed strategies in strictly competitive games: A further test of the minimax hypothesis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 261-283, April.
  9. Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
  10. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2001. "Professionals Play Minimax," Working Papers 2001-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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