IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Learning to Play Nash from the Best

I experimentally investigate the effects of the ability to imitate successful others on convergence to the one-shot Nash equilibrium. I study a two-player game (Potters and Suetens Forthcoming) in which a single parameter determines the existence of strategic complementarities. I generally confirm previous findings when learning from others is not possible: games with strategic complementarities converge more robustly to the Nash equilibrium than those without. However, I find the reverse with the ability to learn from successful others as this information significantly improves convergence in games without strategic complementarities but has no effect and possibly a negative effect on games with complementarities.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2009-03.

in new window

Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2009-03
Contact details of provider: Postal: Williamstown, MA 01267
Phone: 413 597 2476
Fax: 413 597 4045
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C80-95, March.
  3. Fernando Vega Redondo & Frédéric Palomino, 1996. "Convergence of aspirations and (partial) cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-20, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  4. José Apesteguía & Steffen Huck & Jorg Oechssler, 2003. "Imitation-Theory and Experimental Evidence-," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0306, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
  5. Offerman, T.J.S. & Potters, J.J.M. & Sonnemans, J., 2002. "Imitation and belief learning in an oligopoly experiment," Other publications TiSEM a6a771c5-31ba-4193-8f76-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  6. Armantier, Olivier, 2004. "Does observation influence learning?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 221-239, February.
  7. Robert S. Gazzale, 2009. "Learning to Play Nash from the Best," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  8. Ronald M. Harstad & Michael Marrese, 1980. "Behavioral Explanations of Efficient Public Good Allocations," Discussion Papers 422, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Chen, Yan, 2008. "Incentive-compatible Mechanisms for Pure Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  10. Potters, J.J.M. & Suetens, S., 2009. "Cooperation in experimental games of strategic complements and substitutes," Other publications TiSEM 694e692f-f551-421e-8cf0-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  11. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Nicolaas J. Vriend, 1998. "Imitation of succesful behavior in Cournot markets," Economics Working Papers 269, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  12. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  13. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  14. Prasnikar, Vesna & Roth, Alvin E, 1992. "Considerations of Fairness and Strategy: Experimental Data from Sequential Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 865-88, August.
  15. Schlag, Karl H., 1996. "Which one should I imitate?," Discussion Paper Serie B 365, University of Bonn, Germany.
  16. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  17. Selten, Reinhard & Apesteguia, Jose, 2005. "Experimentally observed imitation and cooperation in price competition on the circle," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 171-192, April.
  18. Kandori Michihiro & Rob Rafael, 1995. "Evolution of Equilibria in the Long Run: A General Theory and Applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 383-414, April.
  19. Carlo Altavilla & Luigi Luini & Patrizia Sbriglia, 2005. "Social Learning in Market Games," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 003, University of Siena.
  20. Oechssler, Jorg, 2002. "Cooperation as a result of learning with aspiration levels," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 405-409, November.
  21. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  22. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1991. "Adaptive and sophisticated learning in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 82-100, February.
  23. Pingle, Mark, 1995. "Imitation versus rationality: An experimental perspective on decision making," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 281-315.
  24. Iris Bohnet & Richard Zeckhauser, 2004. "Social comparisons in ultimatum bargaining," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  25. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  26. Squintani, Francesco & Valimaki, Juuso, 2002. "Imitation and Experimentation in Changing Contests," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 376-404, June.
  27. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  28. Harrison, Glenn W & McCabe, Kevin A, 1996. "Expectations and Fairness in a Simple Bargaining Experiment," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 303-27.
  29. Nick Feltovich & John Duffy, 1999. "Does observation of others affect learning in strategic environments? An experimental study," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 131-152.
  30. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1997. "The Evolution of Walrasian Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 375-384, March.
  31. Dixon, Huw David, 2000. "Keeping up with the Joneses: competition and the evolution of collusion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 223-238, October.
  32. Conlisk, John, 1980. "Costly optimizers versus cheap imitators," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 275-293, September.
  33. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep, 1998. "Learning by experience and learning by imitating successful others," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 559-575, March.
  34. Dixon, Huw D. & Sbriglia, Patrizia & Somma, Ernesto, 2006. "Learning to collude: An experiment in convergence and equilibrium selection in oligopoly," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 155-167, September.
  35. Erev, Ido & Rapoport, Amnon, 1998. "Coordination, "Magic," and Reinforcement Learning in a Market Entry Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 146-175, May.
  36. Yan Chen & Robert S. Gazzale, 2004. "When Does Learning in Games Generate Convergence to Nash Equilibria? The Role of Supermodularity in an Experimental Setting," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  37. Edward Cartwright, 2007. "Imitation, coordination and the emergence of Nash equilibrium," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 119-135, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2009-03. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephen Sheppard)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.