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Is response time predictive of choice? An experimental study of threshold strategies

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  • Schotter, Andrew
  • Trevino, Isabel

Abstract

This paper investigates the usefulness of non-choice data, namely response times, as a predictor of threshold behavior in a simple global game experiment. Our results indicate that the signal associated to the highest or second highest response time at the beginning of the experiment are both unbiased estimates of the threshold employed by subjects at the end of the experiment. This predictive ability is lost when we move to the third or higher response times. Moreover, the response time predictions are better predictors of observed behavior than the equilibrium predictions of the game. They are also robust, in the sense that they characterize behavior in an out-of-treatment exercise where we use the strategy method to elicit thresholds. This paper is the first to point out the predictive power of response times in a strategic situation.

Suggested Citation

  • Schotter, Andrew & Trevino, Isabel, 2014. "Is response time predictive of choice? An experimental study of threshold strategies," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2014-305, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2014305
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carlsson, Hans & van Damme, Eric, 1993. "Global Games and Equilibrium Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 989-1018, September.
    2. Caplin, Andrew & Schotter, Andrew, 2008. "The Foundations of Positive and Normative Economics: A Handbook," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195328318.
    3. Piovesan, Marco & Wengström, Erik, 2009. "Fast or fair? A study of response times," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 193-196, November.
    4. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2009. "Measuring Strategic Uncertainty in Coordination Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 181-221.
    5. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson & Guillermo Moloche & Stephen Weinberg, 2006. "Costly Information Acquisition: Experimental Analysis of a Boundedly Rational Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1043-1068, September.
    6. Christopher F. Chabris & David Laibson & Carrie L. Morris & Jonathon P. Schuldt & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2009. "The Allocation of Time in Decision-Making," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 628-637, 04-05.
    7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    8. Ariel Rubinstein, 2007. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: A Study of Response Times," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1243-1259, October.
    9. Wilcox, Nathaniel T, 1993. "Lottery Choice: Incentives, Complexity and Decision Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(421), pages 1397-1417, November.
    10. Frank Heinemann & Rosemarie Nagel & Peter Ockenfels, 2004. "The Theory of Global Games on Test: Experimental Analysis of Coordination Games with Public and Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1583-1599, September.
    11. Ariel Rubinstein, 2007. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: Response Times Study," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000001011, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:185-203 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ariel Rubenstein, 2013. "Response time and decision making: An experimental study," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(5), pages 540-551, September.
    3. Krajbich Ian & Smith Stephanie M., 2015. "Modeling Eye Movements and Response Times in Consumer Choice," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 55-72, January.
    4. Rubinstein, Ariel, 2012. "Response Time and Decision Making: A “Free” Experimental Study," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275782, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Ernst Fehr & Nick Netzer, 2018. "Time will tell: recovering preferences when choices are noisy," ECON - Working Papers 306, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    6. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-018-9577-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Andrew Caplin & Daniel Martin, 2016. "The Dual-Process Drift Diffusion Model: Evidence From Response Times," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1274-1282, April.
    8. Goeschl, Timo & Lohse, Johannes, 2018. "Cooperation in public good games. Calculated or confused?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 185-203.
    9. Arkady Konovalov & Ian Krajbich, 2016. "Revealed Indifference: Using Response Times to Infer Preferences," Working Papers 16-01, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:49-59 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    response time; threshold strategies; global games;

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D89 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Other

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