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Competition as a Coordination Device. Experimental Evidence from a Minimum Effort Coordination Game

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  • Thomas Riechmann

    (University of Magedeburg)

  • Joachim Weimann

    (University of Magdeburg)

Abstract

The problem of coordination failure, particularly in 'team production' situations, is central to a large number of mircroeconomic as well as macroeconomic models. As this type of inefficient coordination poses a severe economic problem, there is a need for institutions that foster efficient coordination of individual economic plans. In this paper, we introduce such a rather classical economic institution: competition. In a series of laboratory experiments, we reveal that the true reason for coordination failure is strategic uncertainty, which can be reduced almost completely by introducing a appropriately designed mechanism of (inter-group) competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Riechmann & Joachim Weimann, 2004. "Competition as a Coordination Device. Experimental Evidence from a Minimum Effort Coordination Game," Game Theory and Information 0405011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0405011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Reuben, Ernesto & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2010. "Everyone is a winner: Promoting cooperation through all-can-win intergroup competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 25-35, March.
    2. Riechmann, Thomas & Weimann, Joachim, 2008. "Competition as a coordination device: Experimental evidence from a minimum effort coordination game," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 437-454, June.
    3. Cason, Timothy N. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Zhang, Jingjing, 2012. "Communication and efficiency in competitive coordination games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 26-43.
    4. Chesney, Thomas & Chuah, Swee-Hoon & Hoffmann, Robert, 2009. "Virtual world experimentation: An exploratory study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 618-635, October.
    5. Banerjee, Simanti & Shortle, James S., 2015. "Informal low-cost methods for increasing enrollment of environmentally sensitive lands in farmland conservation programs: An experimental study," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205126, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    6. Sam Asher & Lorenzo Casaburi & Plamen Nikolov & Maoliang Ye, 2010. "One step at a time: Does gradualism build coordination?," Framed Field Experiments 00188, The Field Experiments Website.
    7. Stephan Schosser & Bodo Vogt, 2015. "Do hormones impact behavior in the minimum effort game? - An experimental investigation of human behavior during the weakest link game after the administration of vasopressin -," FEMM Working Papers 150011, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    8. Baethge, Caroline & Fiedler, Marina, 2016. "Aligning mission preferences: Does self-selection foster performance in working groups?," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Betriebswirtschaftliche Reihe B-18-16, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    9. Timothy N. Cason & Roman M. Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2015. "Asymmetric and Endogenous Communication in Competition between Groups," Working Papers 15-01, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    10. Heinrich Ursprung, 2012. "The evolution of sharing rules in rent seeking contests: Incentives crowd out cooperation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 149-161, October.
    11. Laure Kuhfuss & Raphaële Préget & Sophie Thoyer & Frans P. de Vries & Nick Hanley, 2017. "Nudging Participation and Spatial Agglomeration in Payment for Environmental Service Schemes," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2017-11, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    12. K.J.M. De Jaegher & B. Hoyer, 2012. "Cooperation and the common enemy effect," Working Papers 12-24, Utrecht School of Economics.
    13. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9519-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Philip Brookins & John P. Lightle & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2015. "The effects of communication and sorting on output in heterogeneous weak-link group contests," Working Papers wp2014_01_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    15. Eisenkopf, Gerald, 2014. "The impact of management incentives in intergroup contests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 42-61.
    16. Timothy N. Cason & Roman M. Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2017. "Asymmetric and endogenous within-group communication in competitive coordination games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(4), pages 946-972, December.
    17. Gerald Eisenkopf, 2013. "The Impact of Management Incentives in Intergroup Contests," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-26, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    18. Weimann Joachim, 2015. "Die Rolle von Verhaltensökonomik und experimenteller Forschung in Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Politikberatung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 16(3), pages 231-252, October.
    19. repec:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:177-187 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:130-154 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Gerald Eisenkopf, 2013. "The Impact of Management Incentives in Intergroup Contests," TWI Research Paper Series 87, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    22. Eisenkopf, Gerald, 2013. "Management Impact in an Experimental Intergroup Contest," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79863, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    23. Dirk Engelmann & Hans-Theo Normann, 2010. "Maximum effort in the minimum-effort game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(3), pages 249-259, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    coordination failure; team production; competition;

    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
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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