Y2K Bibliography of Experimental Economics and Social Science
Coordination Games

Charles A. Holt, cah2k@virginia.edu, suggestions and corrections welcome
(for online and personal use only)


Anderson, Simon P., Jacob K. Goeree, and Charles A. Holt (1999) “Properties of Logit Equilibria in Games with Rank-Based Payoffs,” University of Virginia, Discussion Paper. Keywords: experiments, game theory, logit equilibrium, existence, uniqueness, symmetry, comparative statics, minimum effort coordination, order statistic coordination games, Bertrand price competition, traveler's dilemma, best shot game, all-pay auction. Abstract: The paper characterizes the logit equilibria for a class of games with payoffs that depend on the ranking of players' decisions, including Bertrand price competition, the all-pay auction, Hotelling's location game, the traveler's dilemma, and many variants of coordination games. General existence, uniqueness, and comparative proofs are presented and applied. Email Contact: holt@virginia.edu

Anderson, Simon P., Jacob K. Goeree, and Charles A. Holt (2000) “Minimum Effort Coordination Games: An Equilibrium Analysis of Bounded Rationality,” Games and Economic Behavior, forthcoming. Keywords: experiments, game theory, logit equilibrium, coordination, learning, potential games, stochastic potential, evolution, quantal response. Abstract: This paper considers minimum-effort coordination games with a continuum of Pareto-ranked Nash equilibria. The introduction of noise yields a unique probability distribution of effort decisions that maximizes a stochastic potential function (expected value of the potential of the game plus entrophy). As the noise vanishes, the limiting distribution converges to an outcome that is analogous to the risk-dominant outcome in two-by-two games. In accordance with experimental evidence and economic intuition, the theory predicts that effort distributions decrease with increases in effort cost and the number of players, even though these parameters do not affect the set of Nash equilibria. Email Contact: sa9w@virginia.edu

Berninghaus, Siegfried K., and Karl-Martin Ehrhart (1998) “Time Horizon and Equilibrium Selection in Tacit Coordination Games: Experimental Results,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 37:2 (October), 231-248. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, repetition, learning direction theory, equilibrium selections. Abstract: Repeated play of coordination games results in the selection of the Pareto dominant equilibrium. Results are consistent with learning direction theory. Email Contact: sbe@vwl3.wiwi.uni-karlsruhe.de

Blume, Andreas, and Andreas Ortmann (1999) “The Effects of Costless Pre-play Communication: Experimental Evidence from a Game with Pareto-ranked Equilibria,” University of Iowa, Discussion Paper, presented at the Summer 1999 ESA Meetings. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination games, cheap talk. Abstract: The experiment introduces costless preplay communication into a multi-player coordination game with multiple Pareto-ranked equilibria. This communication results in immediate convergence to the Pareto-efficient outcome. Email Contact: ablume@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu

Bornstein, Gary, Uri Gneezy, and Rosmarie Nagel (1999) “The Effect of Intergrouup Competition on Group Coordination: An Experimental Study,” Hebrew University, Discussion Paper, presented at the Summer 1999 ESA Meeting. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, minimum effort game, intergroup competition. Email Contact: nagel@upf.es

Cachon, Gerard P., and Colin F. Camerer (1996) “Loss-Avoidance and Forward Induction in Experimental Coordination Games,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111:1 (February), 165-194. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, forward induction, loss avoidance, biases.

Camerer, Colin F., M. Knez, and Roberto A. Weber (1996) “Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and `Weak-Link' Coordination Games,” California Institute of Technology, Discussion Paper. Keywords: experiments, game theory, ultimatum bargaining, minimum effort coordination, virtual observability. Email Contact: camerer@hss.caltech.edu

Cooper, Russell, Douglas V. DeJong, Robert Forsythe, and Thomas W. Ross (1989) “Communication in the Battle of the Sexes Game: Some Experimental Results,” Rand Journal of Economics, 20:4 (Winter), 568-587. Keywords: experiments, game theory, battle of sexes game, coordination, matrix games, communication. Email Contact: rcooper@bu.edu

Cooper, Russell, Douglas V. DeJong, Robert Forsythe, and Thomas W. Ross (1990) “Selection Criteria in Coordination Games: Some Experimental Results,” American Economic Review, 80:1 (March), 218-233. Keywords: experiments, game theory, matrix games, coordination games, equilibrium selection. Email Contact: rcooper@bu.edu

Cooper, Russell, Douglas V. DeJong, Robert Forsythe, and Thomas W. Ross (1992) “Communication in Coordination Games,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107:2 (May), 739-771. Keywords: experiments, game theory, matrix games, coordination game, communication. Email Contact: rcooper@bu.edu

Cooper, Russell, Douglas V. DeJong, Robert Forsythe, and Thomas W. Ross (1992) “Forward Induction in Coordination Games,” Economic Letters, 40:2 (October), 167-172. Keywords: experiments, game theory, sequential games, coordination, forward induction. Email Contact: rcooper@bu.edu

Cooper, Russell, Douglas V. DeJong, Robert Forsythe, and Thomas W. Ross (1994) “Alternative Institutions for Evaluating Coordination Problems: Experimental Evidence on Forward Induction and Pre-Play Communication,” in Problems of Coordination in Economic Activity, edited by James W. Friedman, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 129-146. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, forward induction, communication. Email Contact: rcooper@bu.edu

Cooper, Russell W. (1999) Coordination Games: Complementarities and Macroeconomics, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination games, macroeconomics.

Crawford, Vincent P. (1991) “An `Evolutionary` Interpretation of Van Huyck, Battalio, and Beil's Experimental Results on Coordination,” Games and Economic Behavior, 3:1 (February), 25-59. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination games, evolution, learning. Abstract: This paper explains behavior patterns in coordination game experiments with an econometric model of adaptive best responses to the previous outcome. Email Contact: vcrawfor@ucsd.edu

Crawford, Vincent P. (1995) “Adaptive Dynamics in Coordination Games,” Econometrica, 63:1 (January), 103-143. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination games, learning. Email Contact: vcrawfor@ucsd.edu

Crawford, Vincent P. (1997) “Learning Dynamics, Lock-In, and Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Coordination Games,” University of California at San Diego, Discussion Paper. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination games, evolution, learning, equilibrium selection. Email Contact: vcrawfor@ucsd.edu

Crawford, Vincent P., and Bruno Broseta (1998) “What Price Coordination? The Efficiency-Enhancing Effect of Auctioning the Right to Play,” American Economic Review, 88:1 (March), 198-225. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination games, entry. Email Contact: vcrawfor@ucsd.edu

Crawford, Vincent P., and Hans Haller (1990) “Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games,” Econometrica, 58:3 (May), 571-595. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination games, learning. Email Contact: vcrawfor@ucsd.edu

Dale, Donald J., John Morgan, and Robert W. Rosenthal (1999) “Coordination Through Reputations: A Laboratory Experiment,” Boston University, Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, history, information, reputations. Email Contact: dale@princeton.edu

Devetag, Giovana (1999) “Collective Hill-Climbing and Coordination Success: An Experimental Test of the Critical Mass Game,” St. Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Discussion Paper, presented at the Fall 1999 European Regional ESA Meeting. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination game. Email Contact: devetag@sssup.it

Duffy, John, and Nick Feltovich (1999) “Words, Deeds, and Lies,” University of Houston, Discussion Paper, presented at the Fall 1999 European Regional ESA Meeting. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, matrix games, cheap talk, reputations. Abstract: Subjects are randomly matched in 2x2 coordination games, and the subject designated as a "sender" sends a message about intended play, which is read by the "receiver" prior to the point at which both make their decisions. Messages are more effective in the treatment where the receiver also sees that sender's message/action decisions from the most recent matching, as compared with a baseline treatment where only the sender's previous action is revealed. Email Contact: nfelt@bayou.uh.edu

Duffy, John, and Nick Feltovich (1999) “Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? Observations vs. Cheap Talk as Coordination Devices,” University of Houston, Discussion Paper, presented at the Spring 1999 Public Choice Meetings. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, cheap talk. Abstract: This experiment compares the effects of cheap talk and observed prior actions of others in coordination games. Email Contact: nfelt@bayou.uh.edu, jduffy+@pitt.edu

Erev, Ido, and Amnon Rapoport (1998) “Coordination, "Magic," and Reinforcement Learning in a Market Entry Game,” Games and Economic Behavior, 23:2 (May), 146-175. Keywords: experiments, game theory, entry game, coordination, reinforcement learning. Email Contact: erev@techunix.technion.ac.il

Erev, Ido*, Amnon Rapoport, Darryl A. Seale, and James A. Sundali (1998) “Equilibrium Play in Large Market Entry Games,” Management Science, 44119-141. Keywords: experiments, game theory, entry, coordination. Email Contact: arapoport@bpa.arizona.edu

Garapin, Alexis, and Michel Hollard (1998) “Learning to Coordinate in Competitive Contexts,” University Pierre Mendes France, Discussion Paper, presented at the Summer 1998 ESA Meetings. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, competition. Abstract: The experiments implements the card game, "Target the Two." The focus is on the effects of competition and time-based incentives on coordination behavior. Email Contact: Alexis.Garapin@upmf-grenoble.fr

Goeree, Jacob K., and Charles A. Holt (1999) “Stochastic Game Theory: For Playing Games, Not Just for Doing Theory,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 96(September), 10564-10567. Keywords: experiments, game theory, Nash equilibrium, logit equilibrium, quantal response equilibrium, introspection, coordination, traveler's dilemma, evolution, learning. Abstract: This paper argues that noisy models of introspection, learning, and equilibrium can explain the salient behavior patterns in game experiments, patterns that are not predicted by the Nash equilibrium or its refinements. Models of iterated noisy introspection are used to explain initial choices, models of noisy learning and evolution are used to predict dynamic adjustment paths, and logit equilibrium models explain Nash-invariant treatment effects in steady-state distributions of decisions. Email Contact: jg2n@virginia.edu

Goeree, Jacob K., and Charles A. Holt (1999) “An Experimental Study of Costly Coordination,” University of Virginia, Discussion Paper. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination games, logit equilibrium, bounded rationality, learning, simulation, quantal response, stochastic potential. Abstract: The authors present and test a unified view of behavior in coordination games with a continuum of Nash equilibria that are not affected by non-critical changes in effort costs and numbers of players. The theory is a generalization of risk dominance and maximum potential; the maximization of (stochastic) potential explains steady state effort levels in a series of minimum- and median-effort coordination experiments. In both types of coordination games considered, observed effort distributions are inversely related to effort costs, an intuitive experimental result that is not explained by the perfect-rationality Nash model. Email Contact: jg2n@virginia.edu

Goeree, Jacob K., and Charles A. Holt (1999) “Explaining Anomalous Behavior in Binary-Choice Games: Entry, Voting, Public Goods, and the Volunteer's Dilemma,” University of Virginia, Discussion Paper. Keywords: experiments, game theory, quantal response, binary choice games, volunteer's dilemma, step-level public goods, participation games, voting, market entry, coordination. Abstract: This paper characterizes quantal response equilibria for a general class of N-person binary-choice games: participation, entry, voting, step-level public goods, coordination, and volunteer's dilemma games. The quantal response equilibrium tracks deviations from Nash predictions reported in previous laboratory experiments. Email Contact: jg2n@virginia.edu

Goeree, Jacob K., and Charles A. Holt (1999) “Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory, and Ten Intuitive Contradictions,” University of Virginia, Discussion Paper. Keywords: experiments, game theory, bargaining, matching pennies, traveler's dilemma, coordination, Kreps game, auctions, signaling, extensive form games, backward induction, Nash equilibrium, logit equilibrium, introspection, one shot games. Abstract: The "treasures" are ten static and dynamic games where behavior matches the Nash equilibrium or relevant refinement, and the contradictions are variations of the same game that produces anomalous behavior patterns. In some games, Nash seems to work only by coincidence, e.g. if deviation losses are symmetric or very high. In other games the data are repelled from the Nash prediction and pile up on the opposite side of the set of feasible decisions. Email Contact: jg2n@virginia.edu

Haruvy, Ernan, and Dale O. Stahl (1998) “Risk Dominance Revisited,” University of Texas, Discussion Paper. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, risk dominance. Email Contact: stahl@eco.utexas.edu

Keser, Claudia, Karl-Martin Erhart, and Siegfried K. Berninghaus (1998) “Coordination and Local Interaction: Local Interaction,” Economics Letters, 58269-275. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, local interaction, numbers effects. Abstract: The experiment involves repeated coordination games with local interaction. Subjects who interact with two neighbors around a circle tend to coordinate on the payoff dominant equilibrium, whereas this outcome is less prevalent when subjects interact with four neighbors. Email Contact: Keser@vwl3.wiwi.uni-karlsruhe.de

Kim, Y. G. (1996) “Evolutionary Analysis of Tacit Communication in Van Huyck, Battalio, and Beil's Game Experiments,” Games and Economic Behavior, 16:2 (October), 218-237. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination game, tacit collusion, evolution.

Knez, Marc, and Colin F. Camerer (1994) “Creating Experimental Assets in the Laboratory: Coordination in `Weakest-Link` Games,” Strategic Management Journal, 15101-119. Keywords: experiments, game theory, minimum effort game, coordination, asset markets.

Mehta, Judith, Chris Starmer, and Robert Sugden (1994) “The Nature of Salience: An Experimental Investigation of Pure Coordination Games,” American Economic Review, 84658-673. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, salience. Email Contact: c.starmer@uea.ac.uk

Mehta, Judith, Chris Starmer, and Robert Sugden (1994) “Focal Points in Pure Coordination Games: An Experimental Investigation,” Theory and Decision, 36163-185. Keywords: experiments, game theory, focal points, coordination. Email Contact: c.starmer@uea.ac.uk

Meidinger, Claude, Stephane Robin, and Bernard Ruffeiux (1998) “Repeated Game, Incomplete Information and Coordination: Experimental Results in the Investment Game,” Ecole Nationale Superieure de Genie Industriel, Discussion Paper, presented at the Summer 1998 ESA Meeting. Keywords: experiments, game theory, trust game, psychological game theory, fairness, intentions. Abstract: The paper uses Rabin's fairness model as a basis for explaining results of a standard trust game. Email Contact: bernard.ruffieux@inpg.fr

Meyer, Donald J., John B. Van Huyck, Raymond C. Battalio, and Thomas R. Saving (1992) “History's Role in Coordinating Decentralized Allocation Decisions: Laboratory Evidence on Repeated Binary Allocation Games,” Journal of Political Economy, 100:2 (April), 292-316. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, history effects.

Moreno, Diego, and John Wooders (1998) “Experimental Study of Communication and Coordination in Noncooperative Games,” Games and Economic Behavior, 24:1-2 (July-August), 47-76. Keywords: experiments, game theory, communication, coordination.

Morgan, Dylan, Anne M. Bell, and William A. Sethares (1999) “An Experimental Study of the El Farol Problem,” University of Wisconsin, Madison, Discussion Paper, presented at the Summer 1999 ESA Meeting. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, generalized game of chicken, mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium. Email Contact: abell@mail.arc.nasa.gov

My, K. Boun, Marc Willinger, and A. Ziegelmeyer (1998) “Local Interaction and Equilibrium Selection: An Experimental Investigation,” BETA, Discussion Paper, presented at the Summer 1998 ESA Meeting. Keywords: experiments, game theory, local interaction, equilibrium selection. Abstract: This experiment evaluates the effects of local versus global interaction on behavior in two-person 2x2 coordination games. Other treatment variables include the size of the local neighborhoods. Email Contact: willma@cournot.u-strasbg.fr

Ochs, Jack (1990) “The Coordination Problem in Decentralized Markets: An Experiment,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 105:2 (May), 545-559. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, markets, entry. Email Contact: jochs@pitt.edu

Ochs, Jack (1995) “Coordination Problems,” in The Handbook of Experimental Economics, edited by J. H. Kagel and A. E. Roth, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 195-249. Keywords: experiments, games, coordination games, survey. Abstract This paper surveys the literature on coordination game experiments. Email Contact: jochs@pitt.edu

Palfrey, Thomas R., and Howard Rosenthal (1994) “Repeated Play, Cooperation and Coordination: An Experimental Study,” Review of Economic Studies, 61:3 (July), 545-565. Keywords: experiments, games, cooperation. Email Contact: trp@hss.caltech.edu

Rapoport, Amnon, and M. A.* Fuller (1999) “Coordination in Non-cooperative Three-Person Games Under Different Information Structures,” Group Decision and Negotiation, forthcoming. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, three-person games, information. Email Contact: arapoport@bpa.arizona.edu

Rapoport, Amnon, Darryl A. Seale, and Lisa Ordo**n**ez (1998) “Weighted Probabilities in Large Group Coordination: Experimental Evidence from Market Entry Games,” University of Arizona, Discussion Paper. Keywords: experiments, game theory, entry, probability weighting. Email Contact: arapoport@bpa.arizona.edu

Sarin, Rajiv, and Farshid Vahid (1998) “Predicting Behavior in Experimental Games: A Procedurally Rational Model of Choice,” Texas A&M University, Discussion Paper, presented at the Summer 1998 ESA Meeting. Keywords: experiments, game theory, bounded rationality, procedural rationality, coordination games, matching pennies, mixed strategies. Abstract: The paper presents a one-parameter model of boundedly rational behavior in games. Subjects simplify the choices in a game by devising non-probabilistic assessments, and the strategy with the highest assessment is selected. The model is used to explain behavior in games with unique mixed strategies. Email Contact: r-sarin@tamu.edu

Schmidt, David, Robert Shupp, James Walker, and Elinor Ostrom (1999) “Playing Safe in Coordination Games: The Role of Risk Dominance, Social History, and Reputation,” Indiana University, Discussion Paper. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, risk dominance, social history, reputation. Email Contact: walkerj@indiana.edu

Schotter, Andrew (1999) “Coordination Conventions in Inter-Generation Games: An Experiment in Lamarckian Evolutionary Dynamics,” New York University, Discussion Paper, presented at the Summer 1999 ESA Meetings. Keywords: experiments, game theory, socialization, inter-generational matchings, benevolence, social conventions, history, macroeconomics. Email Contact: schotter@fasecon.econ.nyu.edu

Straub, Paul G. (1995) “Risk Dominance and Coordination Failures in Static Games,” Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 35:4 (Winter), 339-363. Keywords: experiments, games, risk dominance, coordination games. Abstract: This paper reports a series of two-person coordination game experiments in which the outcomes are generally well organized by the notion of risk dominance.

Sundali, James A., Amnon Rapoport, and Darryl A. Seale (1995) “Coordination in Market Entry Games with Symmetric Players,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 64:2 (November), 203-218. Keywords: experiments, game theory, entry games, coordination, mixed strategies. Email Contact: arapoport@bpa.arizona.edu

Van Huyck, John B., Raymond C. Battalio, and Richard O. Beil (1990) “Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure,” American Economic Review, 80:1 (March), 234-248. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination. Abstract: This paper shows that behavior may converge to the Pareto-inferior Nash equilibrium in multi-person coordination games with multiple decisions. Coordination failure is more prevalent with large numbers of participants. Email Contact: john.vanhuyck@tamu.edu

Van Huyck, John B., Raymond C. Battalio, and Richard O. Beil (1991) “Strategic Uncertainty, Equilibrium Selection, and Coordination Failure in Average Opinion Games,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 106:3 (August), 885-911. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, average opinion games. Email Contact: john.vanhuyck@tamu.edu

Van Huyck, John B., Raymond C. Battalio, and Richard Biel (1993) “Asset Markets as an Equilibrium Selection Mechanism: Coordination Failure, Game Form Auctions, and Forward Induction,” Games and Economic Behavior, 5485-504. Keywords: experiments, game theory, forward induction, equilibrium selection, asset markets. Email Contact: john.vanhuyck@tamu.edu

Van Huyck, John B., Joseph P. Cook, and Raymond C. Battalio (1997) “Adaptive Behavior and Coordination Failure,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 32:4 (April), 483-503. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, adaptive behavior. Email Contact: john.vanhuyck@tamu.edu

Van Huyck, John B., Anne B. Gillette, and Raymond C. Battalio (1992) “Credible Assignments in Coordination Games,” Games and Economic Behavior, 4:4 (October), 606-626. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, suggested play. Email Contact: john.vanhuyck@tamu.edu

Van Huyck, John B., Frederick Rankin, and Raymond C. Battalio (1997) “On the Origin of Convention: Evidence from Coordination Games,” Economic Journal, 107(May), ***. Keywords: experiments, game theory, coordination, convention. Email Contact: john.vanhuyck@tamu.edu