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The effect of intergroup competition on group coordination: An experimental study

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Abstract

We report an experiment on the effect of intergroup competition on group coordination in the minimal-effort game (Van Huyck et al., 1990). The competition was between two 7-person groups. Each player in each group independently chose an integer from 1 to 7. The group with the higher minimum won the competition and each of its members was paid according to the game’s original payoff matrix. Members of the losing group were paid nothing. In case of a tie, each player was paid half the payoff in the original matrix. This treatment was contrasted with two control treatments where each of the two groups played an independent coordination game, either with or without information about the minimum chosen by the outgroup. Although the intergroup competition does not change the set of strict equilibria, we found that it improved collective rationality by moving group members in the direction of higher-payoff equilibria. Merely providing group members with information about the minimal-effort level in the other group was not sufficient to generate this effect.

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  • Gary Bornstein & Uri Gneezy & Rosemarie Nagel, 1999. "The effect of intergroup competition on group coordination: An experimental study," Economics Working Papers 393, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:393
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    1. Wilfred Amaldoss & Robert J. Meyer & Jagmohan S. Raju & Amnon Rapoport, 2000. "Collaborating to Compete," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(2), pages 105-126, November.
    2. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-248, March.
    3. Keser, Claudia & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Berninghaus, Siegfried K., 1998. "Coordination and local interaction: experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 269-275, March.
    4. Cooper, Russell, et al, 1990. "Selection Criteria in Coordination Games: Some Experimental Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 218-233, March.
    5. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1992. "Communication in Coordination Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 739-771.
    6. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1986. "Adaptive Behavior and Economic Theory," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 401-426, October.
    7. Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-341, June.
    8. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin, 1998. "Time horizon and equilibrium selection in tacit coordination games: Experimental results," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 231-248, October.
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    Keywords

    Non cooperative games; coordination; minimum effort game; intergroup competition; Leex;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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