nep-gth New Economics Papers
on Game Theory
Issue of 2017‒07‒09
eight papers chosen by
László Á. Kóczy
Magyar Tudományos Akadémia

  1. Gender, Punishment, and Cooperation: Men hurt others to advance their interests By Terence C. Burnham
  2. On the submodularity of multi-depot traveling salesman games By Platz, Trine Tornøe
  3. Discoordination and miscoordination caused by sunspots in the laboratory By Siebert, Jan; Yang, Guanzhong
  4. The Best and Worst of All Possible Worlds: Some Crude Evaluations By Michael R. Powers; Martin Shubik
  5. Monitoring institutions in indefinitely repeated games By Gabriele Camera; Marco Casari
  6. Mechanisms with Evidence: Commitment and Robustness By Elchanan Ben-Porath; Eddie Dekel; Barton L. Lipman
  7. Replication in Experimental Economics: A Historical and Quantitative Approach Focused on Public Good Game Experiments By Nicolas Vallois; Dorian Jullien
  8. The trust broker game: A three-player trust game with probabilistic returns and information asymmetry By Tagat, Anirudh; Kapoor, Hansika

  1. By: Terence C. Burnham (Chapman University Argyros School of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: A laboratory experiment that reports on gender, cooperation, and punishment in two repeated public goods game using high-powered punishment. In a repeated public goods game with punishment, no statistically significant differences between men and women are reported. In a modified game that adds an explicit payoff for relative performance, men punish more than women, men obtain higher rank, and punishment by males decreases payoffs for both men and for women. These results contribute to the debate about the origins and maintenance of cooperation.
    Keywords: Cooperation, Reciprocity, Punishment, Public-Goods, Altruism, Gender
    JEL: A13 C72 C91
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Platz, Trine Tornøe (Department of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: The Steiner traveling salesman problem (STSP) is the problem of finding a minimum cost tour for a salesman that must visit a set of locations while traveling along costly streets before returning to his starting point at the depot. A solution to the problem is a minimum cost tour that both starts and ends at the depot and visits all the required locations. If different players are associated with the destinations to be visited, the STSP induces a cooperative traveling salesman (TS) game that poses the question of how to allocate the total cost of the tour between the different players involved. This cost allocation problem can be tackled using tools and solutions from cooperative games. The purpose of this paper is to generalise the notion of a traveling salesman (TS) game to allow for multiple depots in the underlying STSP and to analyse the submodularity of such multi-depot TS games. A multi-depot STSP can be represented by a connected (di)graph in which a fixed set of nodes are denoted depots, and a non-negative weight function is defined on the edges of the graph. The submodularity of multi-depot TS games is analysed by characterising graphs and digraphs that induce submodular multi-depot TS games for any position of the depots and for at least one position of the depots, respectively.
    Keywords: Traveling salesman problem; cooperative game; submodularity
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2017–07–06
  3. By: Siebert, Jan; Yang, Guanzhong
    Abstract: This paper combines two strands of the experimental sunspot literature. It extends the rare literature that focuses experimentally on the coordination problems caused by sunspot variables. It also extends the literature that focuses on coordination games that have a payoff-dominant and a divergent risk-dominant equilibrium. To achieve this, we use a repeated three-player stag hunt game with fixed groups. In our experiment, a sunspot variable points randomly at the risk-dominant or the payoff-dominant choice. We find out-of-equilibrium behavior (discoordination) caused by the sunspot variable in the short run. In the long run, the sunspot variable can lead to coordination of the payoff-dominated equilibrium (miscoordination). If the sunspot-generating process points more frequently to the risk-dominant choice, some groups converge to the sunspot equilibrium.
    Keywords: sunspot,coordination
    JEL: C92 C72 D81 E40 J52
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Michael R. Powers (Tsinghua University); Martin Shubik (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: The 2 x 2 matrix game plays a central role in the teaching and exposition of game theory. It is also the source of much experimentation and research in political science, social psychology, biology and other disciplines. This brief paper is addressed to answering one intuitively simple question without going into the many subtle qualifications that are there. How efficient is the non-cooperative equilibrium? This is part of a series of several papers that address many of the qualifications concerning the uses of the 2 x 2 matrix games.
    Keywords: 2 × 2 matrix games, Index
    JEL: C63 C72 D61
    Date: 2017–06
  5. By: Gabriele Camera (Chapman University and University of Basel); Marco Casari (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: Does monitoring past conduct facilitate intertemporal cooperation? We designed an experiment characterized by strategic uncertainty and multiple equilibria where coordinating on the efficient outcome is a challenge. Participants, interacting anonymously in a group, could pay a cost either to obtain information about their counterparts, or to create a freely available public record of individual conduct. Both monitoring institutions were actively employed. However, groups were unable to attain higher levels of cooperation compared to a treatment without monitoring. Information about past conduct alone thus appears to be ineffective in overcoming coordination challenges.
    Keywords: coordination, information, equilibrium selection, conventions, social dilemmas
    JEL: C70 C90 D80
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Elchanan Ben-Porath (Department of Economics and Center for Rationality, Hebrew University); Eddie Dekel (Economics Department, Northwestern University, and School of Economics, Tel Aviv University); Barton L. Lipman (Department of Economics, Boston University)
    Abstract: We show that in a class of I-agent mechanism design problems with evidence, commitment is unnecessary, randomization has no value, and robust incentive compatibility has no cost. In particular, for each agent i, we construct a simple disclosure game between the principal and agent i where the equilibrium strategies of the agents in these disclosure games give their equilibrium strategies in the game corresponding to the mechanism but where the principal is not committed to his response. In this equilibrium, the principal obtains the same payo as in the optimal mechanism with commitment. As an application, we show that certain costly veri cation models can be characterized using equilibrium analysis of an associated model of evidence.
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: Nicolas Vallois (Université Picardie Jules Verne; CRIISEA); Dorian Jullien (Université Côte d'Azur; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: We propose a historical perspective on replication in experimental economics focused on public good games. Our intended contribution is twofold: in terms of method and in terms of object. Methodologically, we blend traditional qualitative history of economics with a less traditional quantitative approach using basic econometric tools to detect unnoticed historical patterns of replication. In terms of our object, we highlight a type of replication that we call "baseline replication", which is not present in explicit methodological discussions, yet central in the specificity of experimental economics regarding replication in economics.
    Keywords: Experimental Economics, Replication, History of Economic Thought, Methodology, Public Good Experiments
    JEL: B20 C83 A14 C90
    Date: 2017–06
  8. By: Tagat, Anirudh; Kapoor, Hansika
    Abstract: This paper experimentally investigates trust and trustworthiness in a repeated and sequential three-player trust game with probabilistic returns and information asymmetry. It adds to the existing literature by combining experimental features from recent work in the trust game. The authors use random variations in the multiplier value, a third player without an initial endowment, undisclosed termination rules, and variations in information availability related to transactions. The framework is novel in that the game continues even if the first player transfers no amount to the second player. Using participants from India, the results are broadly consistent with past evidence on the trust game. All players are more trusting when information of their transfers and earnings are made available to other players. The third player (termed the "trust broker") transfers a larger amount when information on transfers is disclosed to other players. The authors find that information availability leads to a significant increase in the trust broker's reciprocity, as defined by the amount that is returned to Player 2. Social desirability, cultural contexts, and learning effects are discussed in terms of scope for future research.
    Keywords: trust game,multi-level games,uncertainty,trustworthiness,selfishness,reciprocity
    JEL: C91 C92 D64 D70
    Date: 2017

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