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Hierarchical Reasoning versus Iterated Reasoning in p-Beauty Contest Guessing Games

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  • Breitmoser, Yves

Abstract

This paper analyzes strategic choice in p-beauty contests. We first show that it is not generally a best reply to guess the expected target value (accounting for the own weight) even in games with n>2 players and that iterated best response sequences are not unique even after perfect/cautious refinement. This implies that standard formulations of ``level-k'' models are neither exactly nor uniquely rationalizable by belief systems based on iterated best response. Second, exact modeling of iterated reasoning weakens the fit considerably and reveals that equilibrium types dominate the populations. We also show that ``levels of reasoning'' cannot be measured regardless of the underlying model. Third, we consider a ``nested logit'' model where players choose their level. It dispenses with belief systems between players and is rationalized by a random utility model. Besides being internally consistent, nested logit equilibrium fits better than three variants of the level-k model in standard data sets.

Suggested Citation

  • Breitmoser, Yves, 2010. "Hierarchical Reasoning versus Iterated Reasoning in p-Beauty Contest Guessing Games," MPRA Paper 19893, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19893
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/19893/1/MPRA_paper_19893.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "Strategic Thinking," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000001148, David K. Levine.
    2. Müller, Julia & Schwieren, Christiane, 2011. "More than Meets the Eye: an Eye-tracking Experiment on the Beauty Contest Game," Working Papers 0516, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    logit equilibrium; hierarchical response; level-k; beauty contest;

    JEL classification:

    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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