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Dumbing down rational players : Learning and teaching in an experimental game

This paper uses experimental data to examine the existence of a teaching strategy among bounded rational players. If players realize that their own actions modify their opponent's beliefs and actions, they might play certain actions to this specific end ; and forego immediate payoffs if the expected payoffs if the expected payoff gain from a teaching strategy is high enough. Our results support the existence of a teaching strategy in several ways : First they show that players update their beliefs in order to take account of the reaction of their opponents to their own action. Second, we examine if players actually use a teaching strategy by playing an action that induces a poor immediate payoff but is likely to modify the opponent's behavior so that a preferable outcome might emerge in the future. We find strong evidence of such a strategy in the data and confirm this finding within a logistic model which suggests that the future expected payoff that could arise from a teaching strategy has indeed a significant impact on choice probabilities. Finally, we investigate the effective impact of a teaching strategy on achieved outcomes and find that efficient teachers can successfully use teaching in order to reach their favorite outcome at the expense of their opponents.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2007/Bla07017.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number bla07017.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:bla07017
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  1. Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
  2. Peter Dürsch & Albert Kolb & Jörg Oechssler & Burkhard C. Schipper, 2005. "Rage Against the Machines: How Subjects Learn to Play Against Computers," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse31_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C80-95, March.
  4. Kyle Hyndman & Erkut Y. Ozbay & Andrew Schotter & Wolf Ze’ev Ehrblatt, 2012. "Convergence: An Experimental Study Of Teaching And Learning In Repeated Games," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 573-604, 05.
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  6. Glen Ellison, 2010. "Learning from Personal Experience: One Rational Guy and the Justification of Myopia," Levine's Working Paper Archive 413, David K. Levine.
  7. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2004. "Two are few and four are many: number effects in experimental oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 435-446, April.
  8. Burkhard Schipper, 2011. "Strategic Control of Myopic Best Reply in Repeated Games," Working Papers 115, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  9. Wolf Ze'ev Ehrblatt & Kyle Hyndman & Erkut Y. ÄOzbay & Andrew Schotter, 2006. "Convergence: An Experimental Study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001148, David K. Levine.
  10. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "Learning in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2222, David K. Levine.
  11. Barry Sopher & Dilip Mookherjee, 2000. "Learning and Decision Costs in Experimental Constant Sum Games," Departmental Working Papers 199625, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  12. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Expectation Formation in Step-Level Public Good Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 250-69, April.
  13. Camerer, Colin F. & Ho, Teck H. & Chong, Juin-Kuan., 2000. "Sophisticated EWA Learning and Strategic Teaching in Repeated Games," Working Papers 1087, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  14. Nathaniel T Wilcox, 2006. "Theories of Learning in Games and Heterogeneity Bias," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1271-1292, 09.
  15. Rankin, Frederick W. & Van Huyck, John B. & Battalio, Raymond C., 2000. "Strategic Similarity and Emergent Conventions: Evidence from Similar Stag Hunt Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 315-337, August.
  16. Mookherjee Dilip & Sopher Barry, 1994. "Learning Behavior in an Experimental Matching Pennies Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 62-91, July.
  17. Arthur, W Brian, 1991. "Designing Economic Agents that Act Like Human Agents: A Behavioral Approach to Bounded Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 353-59, May.
  18. Hamilton, J.H. & Slutsky, S.M., 1988. "Endogenous Timing In Duopoly Games: Stackelberg Or Cournot Equilibria," Papers 88-4, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  19. Yaw Nyarko & Andrew Schotter, 2002. "An Experimental Study of Belief Learning Using Elicited Beliefs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 971-1005, May.
  20. Battalio, Raymond & Samuelson, Larry & Van Huyck, John, 2001. "Optimization Incentives and Coordination Failure in Laboratory Stag Hunt Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 749-64, May.
  21. Rutstrom, E. Elizabet & Wilcox, Nathaniel, 2008. "Stated versus inferred beliefs: A methodological inquiry and experimental test," MPRA Paper 11852, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  22. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Friedman, Daniel, 1997. "Individual Learning in Normal Form Games: Some Laboratory Results," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 46-76, April.
  23. Camerer, Colin F. & Ho, Teck-Hua & Chong, Juin-Kuan, 2002. "Sophisticated Experience-Weighted Attraction Learning and Strategic Teaching in Repeated Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 137-188, May.
  24. Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
  25. Rutström, E. Elisabet & Wilcox, Nathaniel T., 2009. "Stated beliefs versus inferred beliefs: A methodological inquiry and experimental test," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 616-632, November.
  26. Boylan, Richard T. & El-Gamal, Mahmoud A., 1990. "Fictitious Play: A Statistical Study of Multiple Economic Experiments," Working Papers 737, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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