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Cognitive Forward Induction and Coordination without Common Knowledge: An Experimental Study

  • Andreas Blume
  • Uri Gneezy

This paper investigates optimal play in coordination games in which cognition plays an important role. In our game logically omniscient players would be able to identify a distinct coordination opportunity from other obvious facts. Real players may be unable to make the required inference. Our main experimental results are that in a coordination task with a cognitive component (1) players play differently when playing against themselves rather than against another player, and (2) given the opportunity, players signal cognition by choosing the coordination task over an outside option, a phenomenon which we refer to as cognitive forward induction.

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Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 346.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision: May 2009
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:346
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  1. Blume, Andreas, 2000. "Coordination and Learning with a Partial Language," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 1-36, November.
  2. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Standard State-Space Models Preclude Unawareness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 159-174, January.
  3. Blume, Andreas & DeJong, Douglas V. & Kim, Yong-Gwan & Sprinkle, Geoffrey B., 2001. "Evolution of Communication with Partial Common Interest," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 79-120, October.
  4. Bacharach, Michael & Stahl, Dale O., 2000. "Variable-Frame Level-n Theory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 220-246, August.
  5. E. Kohlberg & J.-F. Mertens, 1998. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 445, David K. Levine.
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  7. Camerer, Colin & Loewenstein, George & Weber, Martin, 1989. "The Curse of Knowledge in Economic Settings: An Experimental Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1232-54, October.
  8. 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.
  9. van Damme, E.E.C., 1989. "Stable equilibria and forward induction," Other publications TiSEM bd598a8f-f017-4cab-a9ed-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  10. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-55, March.
  11. Halpern, Joseph Y. & Rego, Leandro Chaves, 2008. "Interactive unawareness revisited," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 232-262, January.
  12. Kim-Sau Chung & Oliver Board, 2007. "Object-Based Unawareness," Working Papers 2007-2, University of Minnesota, Department of Economics, revised 24 Aug 2007.
  13. Heifetz, Aviad & Meier, Martin & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2005. "Interactive Unawareness," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 52, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  14. Segal, Ilya, 1999. "Complexity and Renegotiation: A Foundation for Incomplete Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 57-82, January.
  15. Crawford, Vincent P., 2001. "Lying for Strategic Advantage: Rational and Boundedly Rational Misrepresentation of Intentions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6k65014s, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  16. Blume, Andreas & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "An Experimental Investigation of Optimal Learning in Coordination Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 161-172, January.
  17. Forsythe, Robert & Lundholm, Russell & Rietz, Thomas, 1999. "Cheap Talk, Fraud, and Adverse Selection in Financial Markets: Some Experimental Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(3), pages 481-518.
  18. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  19. Cachon, Gerard P & Camerer, Colin F, 1996. "Loss-Avoidance and Forward Induction in Experimental Coordination Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 165-94, February.
  20. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  21. Mehta, Judith & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1994. "The Nature of Salience: An Experimental Investigation of Pure Coordination Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 658-73, June.
  22. Burkhard C. Schipper & Aviad Heifetz & Martin Meier, 2007. "Unawareness, Beliefs and Games," Working Papers 73, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  23. Crawford, Vincent P & Haller, Hans, 1990. "Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 571-95, May.
  24. Feinberg, Yossi, 2005. "Games with Incomplete Awareness," Research Papers 1894, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  25. Li, Jing, 2009. "Information structures with unawareness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 977-993, May.
  26. Lipman, Barton L, 1999. "Decision Theory without Logical Omniscience: Toward an Axiomatic Framework for Bounded Rationality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 339-61, April.
  27. Sugden, Robert, 1995. "A Theory of Focal Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 533-50, May.
  28. John Geanakoplos, 1989. "Game Theory Without Partitions, and Applications to Speculation and Consensus," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 914, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  29. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
  30. Modica, Salvatore & Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "Unawareness and Partitional Information Structures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 265-298, May.
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