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Information and Beliefs in a Repeated Normal-form Game

  • Dietmar Fehr
  • Dorothea Kübler
  • David Danz

We study beliefs and choices in a repeated normal-form game. In addition to a baseline treatment with common knowledge of the game structure, feedback about choices in the previous period and random matching, we run treatments (i) with fixed matching, (ii) without information about the opponent’s payoffs, and (iii) without feedback about previous play. Using Stahl and Wilson’s (1995) model of limited strategic reasoning, we classify behavior with regard to its strategic sophistication and consider its development over time. In the treatments with feedback and full information about the game, we observe more strategic play, more best-responses to beliefs and more accurate beliefs over time. While feedback is the main driving force of learning to play strategically and for forming beliefs that accurately predict the behavior of the opponent, both incomplete information about the opponent’s payoffs or lack of feedback lead to a stagnation of best-response rates over time. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Information und Erwartungen in einem wiederholten Normalformspiel) Wir untersuchen die Entwicklung von den Erwartungen über das Verhalten des anderen Spielers und den Entscheidungen in einem wiederholten Normalformspiel. Zusätzlich zum Haupttreatment mit common knowledge über das Spiel, Feedback über das Ergebnis in der vorigen Runde und zufälliger Zuordnung der Spieler, gibt es Kontrolltreatments mit (i) festen paarweisen Zuordnungen der Spieler, (ii) ohne Information über die Auszahlungen des anderen Spielers und (iii) ohne Feedback über das Ergebnis der vorigen Runde. Mit Hilfe von Stahl und Wilsons (1995) Modell begrenzten strategischen Verhaltens klassifizieren wir das Verhalten der Teilnehmer im Hinblick auf die strategische Sophistikation. In den Treatments mit Feedback und vollständiger Information über das Spiel nehmen strategisches Verhalten, beste Antworten auf die eigenen Erwartungen und die Akkuratheit der Erwartungen über die Zeit zu. Während Feedback der Hauptgrund dafür ist, dass die Teilnehmer lernen, sich strategisch zu verhalten und korrekte Erwartungen über das Verhalten des anderen Spielers zu bilden, führen sowohl unvollständige Information über die Auszahlungen des Gegenspielers als auch fehlendes Feedback zu einer Stagnation der Rate der besten Antworten über die Zeit.

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Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number SP II 2010-02.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2010_02
Note: Paper only available in English
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