IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Cognitive ability and learning to play equilibrium: A level-k analysis

  • Gill, David
  • Prowse, Victoria

In this paper we investigate how cognitive ability influences behavior, success and the evolution of play towards Nash equilibrium in repeated strategic interactions. We study behavior in a p-beauty contest experiment and find striking differences according to cognitive ability: more cognitively able subjects choose numbers closer to equilibrium, converge more frequently to equilibrium play and earn more even as behavior approaches the equilibrium prediction. To understand better how subjects with different cognitive abilities learn differently, we estimate a structural model of learning based on level-k reasoning. We find a systematic positive relationship between cognitive ability and levels; furthermore, the average level of more cognitively able subjects responds positively to the cognitive ability of their opponents, while the average level of less cognitively able subjects does not respond at all. Our results suggest that, in strategic environments, higher cognitive ability translates into better analytic reasoning and a better ‘theory of mind’

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/38317/1/MPRA_paper_38317.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 38317.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 23 Apr 2012
Date of revision: 23 Apr 2012
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38317
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Offerman, T.J.S. & Potters, J.J.M. & Sonnemans, J., 2002. "Imitation and belief learning in an oligopoly experiment," Other publications TiSEM a6a771c5-31ba-4193-8f76-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2620, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Ohtsubo, Yohsuke & Rapoport, Amnon, 2006. "Depth of reasoning in strategic form games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 31-47, February.
  4. Miguel Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford & Bruno Broseta, . "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games:An Experimental Study," Discussion Papers 00/45, Department of Economics, University of York.
  5. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Level-k Auctions: Can a Nonequilibrium Model of Strategic Thinking Explain the Winner's Curse and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1721-1770, November.
  6. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  7. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Oscar Volij, . "Field Centipedes," Economic theory and game theory 020, Oscar Volij.
  8. Ralph-C. Bayer & Ludovic Renou, 2011. "Cognitive abilities and behavior in strategic-form games.," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/16, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  9. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Espinosa, María Paz & Rey-Biel, Pedro, 2011. "Travelers’ types," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 25-36.
    • Pablo Brañas-Garza & Maréa Paz Espinosa & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2008. "Travelers' Types," Working Papers 407, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    • Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Brañas Garza, Pablo & Rey Biel, Pedro, 2010. "Travellers' Types," DFAEII Working Papers 2010-03, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  10. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Teresa García-Muño & Roberto Hernán, 2011. "Cognitive effort in the Beauty Contest Game," Working Papers 11-08, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  11. Albert Satorra & Antoni Bosch-Domenech & Jose Garcia-Montalvo & Rosemarie Nagel, 2002. "One, two, (three), infinity: Newspaper and lab beauty-contest experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00011, The Field Experiments Website.
  12. Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2008. "Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-05, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  13. Lex Borghans & Bart H. H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 649-658, 04-05.
  14. Burnham, Terence C. & Cesarini, David & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2009. "Higher cognitive ability is associated with lower entries in a p-beauty contest," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 171-175, October.
  15. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Fatal Attraction: Salience, Naïveté, and Sophistication in Experimental "Hide-and-Seek" Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1731-1750, December.
  16. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "Strategic Thinking," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000001148, David K. Levine.
  17. Robert �stling & Joseph Tao-yi Wang & Eileen Y. Chou & Colin F. Camerer, 2011. "Testing Game Theory in the Field: Swedish LUPI Lottery Games," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 1-33, August.
  18. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford, 2006. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000336, UCLA Department of Economics.
  19. Oliver Schnusenberg & Andrés Gallo, 2011. "On Cognitive Ability and Learning in a Beauty Contest," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 11(2), pages 13-24, Fall.
  20. Roth, Alvin E & Xing, Xiaolin, 1994. "Jumping the Gun: Imperfections and Institutions Related to the Timing of Market Transactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 992-1044, September.
  21. Rydval, Ondrej & Ortmann, Andreas & Ostatnicky, Michal, 2009. "Three very simple games and what it takes to solve them," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 589-601, October.
  22. Dessi, Roberta & Rustichini, Aldo, 2011. "Work for Image and Work for Pay," IDEI Working Papers 683, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  23. Omar Al-Ubaydli & Garett Jones & Jaap Weel, 2011. "Patience, Cognitive Skill and Coordination in the Repeated Stag Hunt," Working Papers 1024, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  24. Yan Chen & Robert S. Gazzale, 2004. "When Does Learning in Games Generate Convergence to Nash Equilibria? The Role of Supermodularity in an Experimental Setting," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  25. 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.
  26. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2004. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal Form Games," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000236, UCLA Department of Economics.
  27. Bergman, Oscar & Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Svensson, Cicek, 2010. "Anchoring and cognitive ability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 66-68, April.
  28. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Götte, Lorenz & Rustichini, Aldo, 2008. "Cognitive Skills Explain Economic Preferences, Strategic Behavior, and Job Attachment," IZA Discussion Papers 3609, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  29. Stahl, Dale O., 1996. "Boundedly Rational Rule Learning in a Guessing Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 303-330, October.
  30. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898, August.
  31. Avi Goldfarb & Mo Xiao, 2008. "Who thinks about the competition? Managerial ability and strategic entry in US local telephone markets," Working Papers 08-21, NET Institute, revised Oct 2008.
  32. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  33. Duffy, John & Nagel, Rosemarie, 1997. "On the Robustness of Behaviour in Experimental "Beauty Contest" Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1684-1700, November.
  34. Robert W. Fairlie & Kanika Kapur & Susan M. Gates, 2009. "Is employer-based health insurance a barrier to entrepreneurship?," Working Papers 200903, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  35. Dufwenberg, Martin & Sundaram, Ramya & Butler, David J., 2010. "Epiphany in the Game of 21," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 132-143, August.
  36. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  37. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38317. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.