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Coordination, focal points and voting in strategic situations: a natural experiment


  • Ganna Pogrebna
  • Pavlo Blavatskyy


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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  • Ganna Pogrebna & Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2009. "Coordination, focal points and voting in strategic situations: a natural experiment," IEW - Working Papers 403, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:403

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Di Bartolomeo Giovanni & Papa Stefano, 2016. "Miscommunication in an investment game with one-way messages," wp.comunite 00123, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.

    More about this item


    Coordination; focal point; voting in strategic situations;

    JEL classification:

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

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