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An Explanation of Anomalous Behavior in Binary-Choice Games: Entry, Voting, Public Goods, and the Volunteers' Dilemma

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  • Jacob K. Goeree

    ()

  • Charles A. Holt

    ()

Abstract

This paper characterizes behavior with "noisy" decision making for a general class of N-person, binary-choice games. Applications include: participation games, voting, market entry, binary step-level public goods games, the volunteer's dilemma, the El Farol problem, etc. A simple graphical device is used to derive comparative statics and other theoretical properties of a "quantal response" equilibrium, and the resulting predictions are compared with Nash equilibria that arise in the limiting case of no noise. Many anomalous data patterns in laboratory experiments based on these games can be explained in this manner.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2000. "An Explanation of Anomalous Behavior in Binary-Choice Games: Entry, Voting, Public Goods, and the Volunteers' Dilemma," Virginia Economics Online Papers 328, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vir:virpap:328
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    File URL: http://www.virginia.edu/economics/RePEc/vir/virpap/papers/virpap328.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Jack Ochs, 1990. "The Coordination Problem in Decentralized Markets: An Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 545-559.
    3. Sundali, James A. & Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A., 1995. "Coordination in Market Entry Games with Symmetric Players," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 203-218, November.
    4. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
    5. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1988. "Private incentives in social dilemmas : The effects of incomplete information and altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 309-332, April.
    6. Rachel Croson & Melanie Marks, 2000. "Step Returns in Threshold Public Goods: A Meta- and Experimental Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(3), pages 239-259, March.
    7. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
    8. Amnon Rapoport & Darryl A. Seale & Ido Erev & James A. Sundali, 1998. "Equilibrium Play in Large Group Market Entry Games," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(1), pages 119-141, January.
    9. Offerman, Theo & Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1998. "Quantal response models in step-level public good games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 89-100, February.
    10. Charles A. Holt & Jacob K. Goeree, 1999. "Stochastic Game Theory: For Playing Games, Not Just for Doing Theory," Virginia Economics Online Papers 306, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    11. C. Monica Capra, 1999. "Anomalous Behavior in a Traveler's Dilemma?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 678-690, June.
    12. Andreas Diekmann, 1985. "Volunteer's Dilemma," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 29(4), pages 605-610, December.
    13. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Voter Turnout as a Participation Game: An Experimental Investigation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 385-406.
    14. Anderson, Simon P. & Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 1998. "A theoretical analysis of altruism and decision error in public goods games," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 297-323, November.
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    16. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Why people vote: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 417-442, August.
    17. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cason, Timothy N. & Mui, Vai-Lam, 2005. "Uncertainty and resistance to reform in laboratory participation games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 708-737, September.
    2. Vjollca Sadiraj & Jan Tuinstra & Frans Winden, 2005. "Interest group size dynamics and policymaking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 271-303, December.
    3. Arthur J.H.C. Schram, 2002. "Experimental Public Choice," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-106/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Luo, Yi & Miller, Shelie A., 2017. "Using Game Theory to Resolve the “Chicken and Egg” Situation in Promoting Cellulosic Bioenergy Development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 29-41.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    participation games; entry; voting; step-level public goods games; volunteers' dilemma; quantal response equilibrium; El Farol problem; bounded rationality.;

    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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