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The Effect of Hysteresis on Equilibrium Selection in Coordination Games

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  • Julian Romero

Abstract

One of the fundamental problems in both economics and organization is to understand how individuals coordinate. The widely used minimum-effort coordination game has been used as a simplifed model to better understand this problem. This paper first presents some theoretical results that give conditions under which the minimum-effort coordination game exhibits hysteresis. Using these theoretical results, some experimental hypotheses are developed and then confirmed using human subjects in the laboratory. The main insight is that play in a given game is heavily dependent on the history of parameters leading up to that game. For example, the experiments show when cost c = 0:5 in the minimum-effort coordination game, there is signifcantly more high effort if the cost has increased to c = 0:5 compared to when the cost has decreased to c = 0:5. One implication of this is that a temporary change in parameters may be able move the economic system from a bad equilibrium to a good equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian Romero, 2011. "The Effect of Hysteresis on Equilibrium Selection in Coordination Games," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1265, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1265
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Maoliang Ye & Jie Zheng & Plamen Nikolov & Sam Asher, 2020. "One Step at a Time: Does Gradualism Build Coordination?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(1), pages 113-129, January.
    2. Aidas Masiliunas, 2016. "Inefficient Lock-in with Sophisticated and Myopic Players," AMSE Working Papers 1615, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France, revised 19 Apr 2016.
    3. Natalia Fabra & Juan-Pablo Montero, 2022. "Product Lines and Price Discrimination in Markets with Information Frictions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 68(2), pages 981-1001, February.
    4. Friedel Bolle & Jörg Spiller, 2021. "Cooperation against all predictions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 59(3), pages 904-924, July.
    5. Stefanos Leonardos & Georgios Piliouras & Kelly Spendlove, 2021. "Exploration-Exploitation in Multi-Agent Competition: Convergence with Bounded Rationality," Papers 2106.12928, arXiv.org.
    6. Fabrice Le Lec & Astrid Matthey & Ondrej Rydval, 2012. "Punishment Fosters Efficiency in the Minimum Effort Coordination Game," Jena Economics Research Papers 2012-030, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    7. Stephen Morris & Muhamet Yildiz, 2019. "Crises: Equilibrium Shifts and Large Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(8), pages 2823-2854, August.
    8. Ahrash Dianat & Christoph Siemroth, 2021. "Improving decisions with market information: an experiment on corporate prediction markets," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(1), pages 143-176, March.
    9. Ger Yang & David Basanta & Georgios Piliouras, 2018. "Bifurcation Mechanism Design—From Optimal Flat Taxes to Better Cancer Treatments," Games, MDPI, vol. 9(2), pages 1-38, April.
    10. Bradley J. Ruffle, Avi Weiss, Amir Etziony, 2015. "The Role of Critical Mass in Establishing a Successful Network Market: An Experimental Investigation," LCERPA Working Papers 0092, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 12 May 2015.
    11. Fabrice Le Lec & Ondrej Rydval & Astrid Matthey, 2014. "Efficiency and Punishment in a Coordination Game: Voluntary Sanctions in the Minimum Effort Game," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp526, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    12. Arifovic, Jasmina & Hua Jiang, Janet & Xu, Yiping, 2013. "Experimental evidence of bank runs as pure coordination failures," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2446-2465.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hysteresis; Minimum-effort Coordination Game; Logit Equilibrium; Experimental Economics; Equilibrium Selection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Training

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