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The Compromise Game: Two-sided Adverse Selection in the Laboratory

  • Juan D. Carrillo

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Southern California)

  • Thomas R. Palfrey

    ()

    (The Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology)

We analyze a game of two-sided private information characterized by extreme adverse selection, and study a special case in the laboratory. Each player has a privately known "strength" and can decide to fight or compromise. If either chooses to fight, there is a conflict; the stronger player receives a high payoff and the weaker player receives a low payoff. If both choose to compromise, conflict is avoided and each receives an intermediate payoff. The only equilibrium in both the sequential and simultaneous versions of the game is for players to always fight, independent of their own strength. In our experiment, we observe among other things (i) frequent compromise, (ii) little evidence of learning, and (iii) different behavior between first, second and simultaneous movers. We explore several models in an attempt to understand the reasons underlying these anomalous choices, including quantal response equilibrium, cognitive hierarchy, and cursed equilibrium.

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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR) in its series IEPR Working Papers with number 06.60.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:scp:wpaper:06-60
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Web page: http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/economics/IEPR/

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  1. Miguel Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford, 2004. "Cognition And Behavior In Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000143, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  6. Eyster, Erik & Rabin, Matt, 2002. "Cursed Equilibrium," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6xf4782t, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  8. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  10. Vincent P Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Level-k Auctions: Can a Non-Equilibrium Model of Strategic Thinking Explain the Winner's Curse and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions?," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000001005, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Colin F. Camerer & Thomas R. Palfrey & Brian W. Rogers, 2006. "Heterogeneous Quantal Response Equilibrium," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000193, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Robert Forsythe & R. Mark Isaac & Thomas R. Palfrey, 1989. "Theories and Tests of "Blind Bidding" in Sealed-Bid Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 214-238, Summer.
  13. Milgrom, Paul & Stokey, Nancy, 1982. "Information, trade and common knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 17-27, February.
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  15. Casella, Alessandra & Gelman, Andrew & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2003. "An Experimental Study of Storable Votes," Working Papers 1173, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  16. Dekel, E. & Piccione, M., 1999. "Sequential Voting Procedures in Symmetric Binary Elections," Papers 3-99, Tel Aviv.
  17. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
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  19. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
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