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Strengths of the Weakest-Link

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe Février

    (Insee and Crest Lei)

  • ) Laurent Linnemer

    (University of Lille 2 and Crest Lei)

  • )

Abstract

The "Weakest Link" is a game show full of paradox. To increase the probability of winning, contestants should eliminate the strongest players. Yet, if it is anticipated that the best player is to be eliminated, participants do not answer questions correctly and nothing is gained. We solve a game that illustrates the Weakest Link tradeoffs and show that two equilibria coexist: an equilibrium in which players remain silent and a more entertaining equilibrium in which they give good answers whenever they can. We study the first wave of the Weakest Link show broadcast in France. Contestants vote against the weakest player and answer truthfully to the questions. They exhibit, however, myopic behavior as they do not use all the available information. The selection of one equilibrium or the other relies on how players coordinate in voting subgames. Three arguments are provided to explain observed behavior: Pareto domination, risk domination, and the "mise en scène" of the show.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Février & ) Laurent Linnemer & ), 2002. "Strengths of the Weakest-Link," Experimental 0210002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0210002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on pc; pages: 45; figures: 3
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jullien, Bruno & Salanié, Bernard, 2005. "Empirical Evidence on the Preferences of Racetrack Bettors," IDEI Working Papers 178, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coordination; Pareto and risk domination; vote; game show; eld experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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