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When and Why? A Critical Survey on Coordination Failure in the Laboratory

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  • Giovanna Devetag
  • Andreas Ortmann

Abstract

Coordination games with Pareto-ranked equilibria have attracted major theoretical attention over the past two decades. Two early path-breaking sets of experimental studies were widely interpreted as suggesting that coordination failure is a common phenomenon in the laboratory. We identify the major determinants that seem to affect the incidence, and/or emergence, of coordination failure in the lab and review critically the existing experimental studies on coordination games with Pareto-ranked equilibria since that early evidence emerged. We conclude that there are many ways to engineer coordination successes.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2006. "When and Why? A Critical Survey on Coordination Failure in the Laboratory," CEEL Working Papers 0605, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0605
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    coordination games; Pareto-ranked equilibria; payoff-asymmetric equilibria; staghunt games; optimization incentives; robustness; coordination; coordination failure;
    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

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