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On the content of focal points

Author

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  • David Rojo Arjona

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

This paper presents a methodology to study the identification of the content of focal points (Schelling 1960). This question is important for external validity and operationalising theories of decision making (e.g. team-reasoning and level-k). Choices implied by different concepts are mapped into Pure Coordination Games: open (Mehta et al. 1994) and closed (Bardsley et al. 2010). Results show that focal points are consistent with well-defined concepts, such as prototypicality, typicality and prominence in open sets but not in closed sets. Furthermore, subjects make different choices between open and closed sets leading to surprisingly more success in open than closed sets.

Suggested Citation

  • David Rojo Arjona, 2010. "On the content of focal points," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-16, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:10-16
    as

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    File URL: https://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/166500/14307614/CBESS-10-16.pdf/c1d7e223-eaa0-4aaf-8b72-f4b380c0d436
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vincent P. Crawford & Uri Gneezy & Yuval Rottenstreich, 2008. "The Power of Focal Points Is Limited: Even Minute Payoff Asymmetry May Yield Large Coordination Failures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1443-1458, September.
    2. Nicholas Bardsley & Judith Mehta & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2010. "Explaining Focal Points: Cognitive Hierarchy Theory "versus" Team Reasoning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 40-79, March.
    3. Nicholas Bardsley, 2000. "Control Without Deception: Individual Behaviour in Free-Riding Experiments Revisited," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(3), pages 215-240, December.
    4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioural game theory; experiments; coordination; framing effects; salience; focal point; typicality; prototypicality;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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