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Beliefs and (In)Stability in Normal-Form Games

  • Hyndman, Kyle
  • Terracol, Antoine
  • Vaksmann, Jonathan

In this paper, we use experimental data to study players' stability in normal-form games where subjects have to report beliefs and to choose actions. Subjects saw each of 12 games four times in a regular or isomorphic form spread over two days without feedback. We document a high degree of stability within the same (strategically equivalent) game, although time and changes in the presentation of the game do lead to less stability. To look at stability across different games, we adopt the level-k theory, and show that stability of both beliefs and actions is significantly lower. Finally, we estimate a structural model in which players either apply a consistent level of reasoning across strategically different games, or reasoning levels change from game to game. Our results show that approximately 30% of subjects apply a consistent level of reasoning across the 12 games, but that they assign a low level of sophistication to their opponent. The remaining 70% apply different levels of reasoning to different games.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/47221/1/MPRA_paper_47221.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 47221.

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Date of creation: 23 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47221
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  1. Agranov, Marina & Potamites, Elizabeth & Schotter, Andrew & Tergiman, Chloe, 2012. "Beliefs and endogenous cognitive levels: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 449-463.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  5. Broseta, Bruno & Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P., 2000. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt0fp8278k, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. 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.
  7. Fehr, Dietmar & Kübler, Dorothea & Danz, David N., 2008. "Information and Beliefs in a Repeated Normal-Form Game," IZA Discussion Papers 3627, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Nagore Iriberri, 2013. "Structural Models of Nonequilibrium Strategic Thinking: Theory, Evidence, and Applications," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 5-62, March.
  9. 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.
  10. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 2004. "A model of noisy introspection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 365-382, February.
  11. Manski, Charles F., 2002. "Identification of decision rules in experiments on simple games of proposal and response," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 880-891, May.
  12. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  13. Dale O. Stahl & Paul W. Wilson, 2010. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 542, David K. Levine.
  14. repec:dgr:kubcen:2011117 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Trautmann, S.T. & van de Kuilen, G., 2011. "Belief Elicitation : A Horse Race among Truth Serums," Discussion Paper 2011-117, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  16. repec:mpr:mprres:7497 is not listed on IDEAS
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