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Do People Make Strategic Commitments? Experimental Evidence on Strategic Information Avoidance

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  • Anders Poulsen

    (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

  • Michael Roos

    (Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum
    School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

Abstract

Game theory predicts that players make strategic commitments that may appear counter-intuitive. We conducted an experiment to see if people make a counter-intuitive but strategically optimal decision to avoid information. The experiment is based on a sequential Nash demand game in which a responding player can commit ahead of the game not to see what a proposing player demanded. Our data show that subjects do, but only after substantial time, learn to make the optimal strategic commitment. We find only weak evidence of physical timing effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Anders Poulsen & Michael Roos, 2010. "Do People Make Strategic Commitments? Experimental Evidence on Strategic Information Avoidance," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 007, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:aepppr:2010_7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Guilhem Lecouteux, 2013. "Choosing one's preferences," Working Papers hal-00864704, HAL.
    2. Silvia Dominguez Martinez & Randolph Sloof & Ferdinand von Siemens, 2010. "Monitoring your Friends, not your Foes: Strategic Ignorance and the Delegation of Real Authority," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-101/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Russell Golman & David Hagmann & George Loewenstein, 2017. "Information Avoidance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 96-135, March.
    4. Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2011. "Endogenous Move Structure and Voluntary Provision of Public Goods: Theory and Experiment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(5), pages 721-754, October.
    5. Dominguez-Martinez, Silvia & Sloof, Randolph & von Siemens, Ferdinand A., 2014. "Monitored by your friends, not your foes: Strategic ignorance and the delegation of real authority," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 289-305.
    6. François Cochard & Julie Le Gallo & Laurent Franckx, 2015. "Regulation Of Pollution In The Laboratory: Random Inspections, Ambient Inspections, And Commitment Problems," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(S1), pages 40-73, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Strategic commitment; commitment; bargaining; strategic value of information; physical timing effects; endogenous timing; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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