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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: https://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. 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.
  2. Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Georg Weizsäcker, 2004. "Stated Beliefs and Play in Normal Form Games," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000236, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Dietmar Fehr & Dorothea Kübler & David Danz, 2010. "Information and Beliefs in a Repeated Normal-form Game," CIG Working Papers SP II 2010-02, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  4. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898.
  5. 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.
  6. Sotiris Georganas & Paul J. Healy & Roberto A. Weber, 2014. "On the Persistence of Strategic Sophistication," CESifo Working Paper Series 4653, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P. & Broseta, Bruno, 1998. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1vn4h7x5, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2000. "A Model of Noisy Introspection," Virginia Economics Online Papers 343, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. Marina Agranov & Elizabeth Potamites & Andrew Schotter & Chloe Tergiman, 2012. "Beliefs and Endogenous Cognitive Levels An Experimental Study," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 887d4d4ffd0b4ea8b2dc04d4f, Mathematica Policy Research.
  14. repec:mpr:mprres:7497 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  16. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
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