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Coordination and information in critical mass games: an experimental study

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  • Maria Giovanna Devetag

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Abstract

We present experimental results on a repeated coordination game with Pareto-ranked equilibria in which a payoff from choosing an action is positive only if a critical mass of players choose that action. We design a baseline version of the game in which payoffs remain constant for values above the critical mass, and an increasing returns version in which payoffs keep increasing for values above the critical mass. We test the predictive power of security and payoff-dominance under different information treatments. Our results show that convergence to the payoff-dominant equilibrium is the modal limit outcome when players have full information about others' previous round choices, while this outcome never occurs in the remaining treatments. The paths of play in some groups reveal a tacit dynamic coordination by which groups converge to the efficient equilibrium in a step-like manner. Moreover, the frequency and speed of convergence to the payoff-dominant equilibrium are higher, ceteris paribus, when increasing returns are present. Finally, successful coordination seems to crucially depend on players' willingness to signal to others the choice of the action supporting the efficient equilibrium. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003
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  • Maria Giovanna Devetag, 2002. "Coordination and information in critical mass games: an experimental study," CEEL Working Papers 0214, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0214
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    Cited by:

    1. Pal, Rupayan & Scrimitore, Marcella, 2016. "Tacit collusion and market concentration under network effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 266-269.
    2. Vincent Mak & Rami Zwick, 2010. "Investment Decisions and Coordination Problems in a Market with Network Externalities: An Experimental Study," Post-Print hal-00911829, HAL.
    3. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Jones, Garett & Weel, Jaap, 2010. "Patience, cognitive skill and coordination in the repeated stag hunt," MPRA Paper 27723, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Damien Besancenot & Radu Vranceanu, 2011. "Experimental Evidence On The 'Insidious' Illiquidity Risk," Working Papers halshs-00602107, HAL.
    5. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2014. "Experimental evidence on the ‘insidious’ illiquidity risk," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 315-323.
    6. Masiliūnas, Aidas, 2017. "Overcoming coordination failure in a critical mass game: Strategic motives and action disclosure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 214-251.
    7. Mak, Vincent & Zwick, Rami, 2010. "Investment decisions and coordination problems in a market with network externalities: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 759-773, December.
    8. Simanti Banerjee & Anthony Kwasnica & James Shortle, 2015. "Information and Auction Performance: A Laboratory Study of Conservation Auctions for Spatially Contiguous Land Management," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(3), pages 409-431, July.
    9. Christian Basteck & Marco Mantovani, 2016. "Protecting unsophisticated applicants in school choice through information disclosure," WIDER Working Paper Series 065, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Messer, Kent D. & Duke, Joshua M. & Lynch, Lori & Li, Tongzhe, 2017. "When Does Public Information Undermine the Efficiency of Reverse Auctions for the Purchase of Ecosystem Services?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 212-226.
    11. Francesco Feri & Bernd Irlenbusch & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Efficiency Gains from Team-Based Coordination—Large-Scale Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1892-1912, September.
    12. Viktoriya Semeshenko & Alexis Garapin & Bernard Ruffieux & Mirta Gordon, 2010. "Information-driven coordination: experimental results with heterogeneous individuals," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 119-142, July.
    13. repec:eee:jeeman:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:68-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Weiss, Avi & Etziony, Amir, 2015. "The role of critical mass in establishing a successful network market: An experimental investigationAuthor-Name: Ruffle, Bradley J," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 101-110.
    15. Devetag, Giovanna, 2005. "Precedent transfer in coordination games: An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 227-232, November.
    16. Simanti Banerjee & Timothy N. Cason & Frans P. de Vries & Nick Hanley, 2015. "Spatial Coordination in Agglomeration Bonus Schemes with Transaction Costs and Communication: An Experimental Study," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2015-10, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    17. Blume, Andreas & Ortmann, Andreas, 2007. "The effects of costless pre-play communication: Experimental evidence from games with Pareto-ranked equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 274-290, January.

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