Coordination, focal points and voting in strategic situations: a natural experiment
This paper studies coordination in a multi-stage elimination tournament with large monetary incentives and a diversified subject pool drawn from the adult British population. In the tournament, members of an ad hoc team earn money by answering general knowledge questions and then eliminate one contestant by plurality voting without prior communication. We find that in the early rounds of the tournament, contestants use a focal principle and coordinate on one of the multiple Nash equilibria in pure strategies by eliminating the weakest member of the team. However, in the later rounds, contestants switch to playing a mixed strategy Nash equilibrium.
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